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Living with the Tudors (2007)

8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 21 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

After four years of participation as costumed historical re-enactors, Karen Guthrie & Nina Pope were given unprecedented access with their cameras to the UK's oldest and largest historical re-enactment at Kentwell Hall in rural Suffolk.

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Title: Living with the Tudors (2007)

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Credited cast:
Karen Guthrie ...
Herself / Ann
Nina Pope ...
Herself / Mary
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After four years of participation as costumed historical re-enactors, Karen Guthrie & Nina Pope were given unprecedented access with their cameras to the UK's oldest and largest historical re-enactment at Kentwell Hall in rural Suffolk.

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Documentary

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Release Date:

30 March 2007 (UK)  »

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1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

 
'Living with the Tudors': a long hot summer in an English garden with a cast of remarkable citizen-historians. A work of documentary art.
27 October 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

'Living with the Tudors' is a really delicate piece of documentary art. It tactically avoids the tired cleverness common to the work of more recent factual filmmakers and favours instead a form of courteous 'give and take' that is ideally suited to its carefully constructed, somewhat arcane, subject.

And that subject is the strangely familiar world of re-enactment or recreation. The private community of historical re-activation that plays out across Britain at a number of scales during the long summer months.

Kentwell and the Tudors occupies a distinctive place in this world of intricate detail, authenticity and sadly unfashionable imaginings. Here, for 3 weeks of summer, up to 500 people gather to occupy another time. With a degree of care sadly absent from our fast existence, the participants at Kentwell - the Tudors of the title - have devoted decades to the construction of a fiction, a world so overwhelming in its attention to detail that it belies any attempt to say we are the generation of the 'short attention span.'

Where Pope and Guthrie excel and where this work begins to suggest another form of documentary practice is in their willingness to occupy the background of this story, to stand at an oblique angle to the characters, invention, craftsmanship and sheer imagination of their subjects. By doing this they allow the participants at Kentwell to speak for themselves. And what they say and how they say it provides us with a privileged view, an unearned pass to a world of slow, thoughtful endeavour, remarkable creativity and rigorous intelligence.

'Living with the Tudors' gives nostalgia a very good name - at last.


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