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Photographing Fairies (1997)

Photographer Charles Castle is numbed with grief following the death of his beautiful bride. He goes off to war, working in the trenches as a photographer. Following the war and still in ... See full summary »



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5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Castle
Reverend Templeton
Beatrice Templeton
Hannah Bould ...
Clara Templeton
Miriam Grant ...
Ana Templeton
Mrs. Anne-Marie Castle
Clive Merrison ...
Stephen Churchett ...
Mr. Dawson
Mrs. Dawson
Maggie Wells ...
Mrs. Hoopdriver
Fierce Woman
Jeremy Young ...


Photographer Charles Castle is numbed with grief following the death of his beautiful bride. He goes off to war, working in the trenches as a photographer. Following the war and still in grief Charles is given some photographs purporting to be of fairies. His search for the truth leads him to Burkinwell, a seemingly peaceful village seething with secrets where he becomes drawn into a web of passion, romance and violence.. Written by Philip Stanton

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Fantasy | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 September 1997 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Der Elfengarten  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Edward Hardwicke, who plays Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, has played Conan Doyle's Dr. Watson many times. See more »


During Castle's trial, a stenographer is shown typing at a shorthand typewriter, like in American trials. England never has had court stenographers - the judge or magistrate takes notes. See more »


Version of BBC2 Play of the Week: Fairies (1978) See more »


Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92, II. Allegretto
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by The Philharmonia Orchestra
Conducted and orchestrated by Terry Davies
See more »

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User Reviews

Unfairly overlooked
30 November 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Such a shame that this beautiful film has been so overlooked and dismissed. I can think of few films that deal with the issue of loss and grief so sensitively and with such original flair. Nick Willing's film is tender, mysterious, moving and confident. And, often quite rare in modern cinema, his characters actually deliver and go on a genuine journey. In short, this film takes us somewhere. I believe Mr Willing and his producers have been criticised heavily for their fairy effects: the fairies that appear are sometimes lithe, naked little nymphs, and sometimes plump little men. Both are absolutely perfectly judged, in my opinion, providing something as far from Disney as possible, but entirely in keeping with the Edwardian mood of the whole piece. Moreover, the lighting, pacing, over-cranking and scoring of the sequences wherein the fairies appear are masterfully handled. As a film-maker myself, I find this film an inspiration. The end of the film is unbelievably balletic and touching. Ben Kingsley, Toby Stephens and Edward Hardwicke are splendid. The score by Simon Boswell is also an absolute gem, and it's a shame this isn't on general release on CD. One of the great British films of the end of the century.

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