6.8/10
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3 user 4 critic

Requiem for a Village (1976)

The idyllic, rural past of a Suffolk village comes to life through the memories of an old man who tends a country graveyard, in this extraordinary, film directed by David Gladwell. Although... See full summary »

Director:

David Gladwell

Writer:

David Gladwell
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Roger Burroughes Roger Burroughes ... (as Roger Burroughs)
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Storyline

The idyllic, rural past of a Suffolk village comes to life through the memories of an old man who tends a country graveyard, in this extraordinary, film directed by David Gladwell. Although best known for his celebrated work as editor on Lindsay Anderson's If.... and O Lucky Man!, Gladwell has, until now, rarely been recognised as the director of a number of ground-breaking films. This title is also available on DVD / Blu-ray in the BFI's Flipside collection.

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Genres:

Drama

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 November 1976 (USA) See more »

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Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Featured in Arcadia (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mindblowing piece of beauty
16 May 2011 | by Karl_BlixtSee all my reviews

I have in vane been trying to getting my hands on this for years, but it does not seem to be available anywhere. I remember with exquisite clarity the two times it was shown on Swedish TV in the late seventies, I was simply stunned. Twice. The simplistic and almost naive storytelling, advancing on several planes, is as ethereal as the conclusion is obvious and prosaic. Cast mainly with amateurs, this wonderful piece of a film has no equal - but an aura of Koyaanisqatsi.

The slow and almost dull ingress as (simplisticly) described in most sites on the net is (quote) "The churchyard keeper of a village church in the county of Suffolk, England, reviews the life and lifestyle of those villages as it evolved following the widespread introduction of machinery."

In my view this is an almost chauvinistic way of describing the alienation any aging human is increasingly feeling in a world spinning out of control and changing at an unsustainable rate. True, to fully appreciate the film you'd have to be a romantic - but in the end, this is what we will all become.

The key scene (in my view) is a duality, in a flashback showing a cherished memory of the keeper, cutting back to the present to show a scene with young people which in time may be a similarly cherished memory to them. But what happens next makes clear the abyss that must be bridged to bring understanding between generations, even when they are not that different from each others.

Addition: As some of you readers have already pointed out this film is now available on DVD/Bluray from British Film Institute, I bought my copy via British Amazon. Pictures as vivid as I remember, maybe the sound felt a bit muffled.


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