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4.2 out of 5 stars25
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 8 August 2011
Saw this film at Sidmouth Manor Pavilion during Folk Week. The opening animated sequence with the faux earth-legend worried me a bit at first, but after that is over, the film becomes a wonderful exploration of one mans initially unwilling relationship with his family traditional dance roots.
Beautifully photographed, the film is touching, witty, and informative. Morris dancers and folkies will love this, but anyone with a passing interest in what it means to be English in todays multi-cultural society should see this.
Don't expect the humour of "Morris: A Life with bells", this is a far more truer film about the Morris, although in places very funny, in others it may move you to tears. The scene where Adderbury Village Morris Men sing "Happy The Man", a trad morris song from their village, to commemerate their fallen ancesters at a war grave in Flanders will bring a lump to your throat.
Congrats to all involved in making this film.
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on 23 August 2011
Saw this film at The South Bank Film Festival. It is an amazing story of one boy/man's struggle with his inner prejudices against Morris Dancing. It shows why grown men dance with hankies, and explains the tradition and history of The Adderbury Morris. Some of the scenes in the Normandy Cemeteries of WW1 are incredibly moving. The whole film has been very carefully and brilliantly edited to tell ones man's view of Morris Dancing.
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on 25 October 2011
Traditions have a hard enough time being understood and this film evokes the meaning of why traditional dance, in this case Morris, is so important to keep on. It did the job well, I believe. Lots of folks in the world will have their opinions and that always lends to a lively discussion which is healthy. This film will help to continue that discussion and I believe help younger folks understand why Morris Dancing is important. I watched the film from beginning to end with interest and appreciation. Good work.
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A rather pleasant and leisurely journey with director Tim Plester as he returns to his home village of Adderbury in Oxfordshire to connect with his past. His father was a former dancer with the morris men of that village, but Tim wanted to be an astronaut or a glam rock star, but he most definitely did not want to be a morris dancer! But as Plester begins to connect ever more with the past, the lure of waving a large white hanky around and banging sticks together starts to have a strange and hypnotic appeal. Can he resist the lure of the morris?

At just over an hour this is not an in depth documentary, it is more one mans personal journey. Plester looks at the origins of morris dancing which is shrouded in the mists of time. He also looks at the 70s folk-rock-inspired revival led by groups like 'Fairport Convention' and their album "Morris On". The film also connects sadly with the 'lost generation' of the First World War when we discover that of all the young Adderbury morris dancers who left to fight in that war, only one returned alive. The dancers make a sentimental journey to the killing fields where they pay a fitting morris style homage to the fallen. The film evokes an English paradise of lost content, with beautiful shots of rural tranquility. There are times watching this documentary when morris dancing seems cool. Certainly a good deal of beer drinking goes on, which is a definite attraction. It is almost enough for me to hand in an application in the hope of dancing to the rhythm of the sticks and bells, ....... but not quite.
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on 28 October 2011
A personal exploration of folk roots in England. This is no "Morris - A life with Bells on", but it is a fine portrait of the folk art in England, for one person's viewpoint.
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on 8 December 2011
A very interesting, heartwarming and well filmed documentary. Tells the story of one Oxfordshire villages re-entry into Morris Dancing after the original group suffered almost total annihilation during WWI. The fact the producer eventually follows in his Father's footsteps and gives it a try is quite poignant and dispels the "strangeness" that many folk feel about this old English traditional pastime. We need more documentaries of this type before all the traditions and customs of England are lost forever to the "modern" age.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 August 2012
Quite why this little docu film should find its home on Sky Arts is odd/interesting and thinking that it'd be so specialist that no-one would have reviewed it for Amazon. How wrong I was! - maybe it says something about Amazon reviewers as well as Sky's intended audience for their Arts channel that there's a very healthy set of reviews here. (And, just one solitary review on Amazon U.S!)

Now, as a photographer I often get to photo-document traditional fairs and local events and my home-town does have its own Morris group. I don't consider Morris-ers any more weird or different to anyone else at these celebrations but the subject is one that is seen to be way too uncool to actually quiz its protagonists about directly. So, this neat little offering from film-maker Tim Plester and Robin Curry seemed ideal to balance that.

Already receptive and open-minded, I found the approach and structure - and indeed opinions - interesting, wide and fair and the people human. Did I just write that? Yes, of course, I did and when Tim talks of groups such as Fairport Convention greatly helping to revive the cause, my actually having seen Steeleye Span live comes uncomfortably close to that of Fairport!

That is the delicious and tangible truth about it all - we (some less, some more) are all connected to traditional folklore and its music and dances. Morris just so happens to be the nearest - and oldest surviving - that England has, so either accept it and appreciate it, or...(censored)

Most of us also like to join and be part of a social group and Morris just happens to be one of them. There's an undoubted attractiveness about any group obviously enjoying themselves and we find ourselves becoming envious. Left-wing singer/songwriter and ultra-cool social commentator Billy Bragg adds some very welcome and well balanced philosophy on the matter, too.

All in all, this compact 70 minute, well-photographed documentary film sets out what it means to. To educate, entertain and show us, Morris, or not, the many facets of this solid dependable movement, for which I personally appreciate for having seen.
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on 21 November 2014
Well written, filmed and produced, a great insight into Morris and why people dance it. Well worth a watch. Shame TV companies haven't bought this and shown it as it's so very well done.
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on 15 September 2014
interesting, could be longer
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on 8 December 2013
Sorry to say I found this rather mediocre after my first watching I dumped it;not a patch on what I was expecting.
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