A fitfully engaging oddity, adapted by Ronald Blythe from his own study of everyday life, past and present, in a Suffolk farming village. The use of non-professional actors is for the most part effective in a sub-Loachian kind of way, but the intercutting between the largely prosaic lives of Akenfield's contemporary inhabitants, and the harsher but seemingly more lyrical existence of their Edwardian forebears, makes for some fairly simplistic contrasts. That said, Ivan Strasberg's lush, soft-focus landscape photography - especially when accompanied by the lilting pastoral strains of Tippett's 'Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli' - imbues the past with a not unappealing romantic aura.
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