Arcadia (15)

Arcadia (15)

Directed by Paul Wright
Picturehouse, Liverpool
19th June 2018

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

Arcadia is an enthralling and dream-like view of homo sapiens link with Mother Earth. Neil Young – not in the film – sang about “Mother Nature being on the run in the 1970s”.

It uses a vast array of archive footage from throughout the UK, set to modern music by Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp).

The documentary features archive films from the BFI (British Film Institute), as well as material from old TV programmes and private sources.

Director Paul Wright commented: “I do have a real passion in exploring how we connect with the land around us and with each other, alongside some of Britain’s more hidden histories, be it rural myths, folk rituals, our pagan past (parades and carnivals), sub cultures, the occult, etc.

It is not a predominantly romanticised perspective of this period. It does focus on the ever increasing destructive tendencies of humans towards many forms of nature.

Watching this film it immediately brought to mind the recent report of the mass devastation of insect life throughout the planet, including in Britain.

The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years. The most likely factors for this appalling loss of life is, needless to say, due to human activity, including the destruction of wild areas, the widespread use of pesticides and climate change.

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