National Press Reviews 2004 (in date order)
 Alan Crawford, Sunday Herald, 24 October 2004 Feature  

seminal movie

Akenfield achieved the holy grail of TV success by attracting critical and popular acclaim in equal measure

… a model of filming – part documentary, part fiction- which has a place in TV and cinema history

Krishan Arora, BBC Television, 24 October 2004  

Akenfield is a film with enduring values of Britain and the countryside that just struck a chord

This was a time when there were only three channels and we all gathered around for big television events, and this was one of them        

 Dick Fiddy, The British Film Institute, 24 October 2004
Akenfield was beautiful and elegiac        

The British Film Institute, 20 November 2004 TV Festival programme   

Thirty years ago, Akenfield made history

… This screening … offers a chance to rediscover, or to experience for the first time, a true TV masterpiece

Sir Peter Hall, The Guardian, 20 November 2004 Feature     
Akenfield … is the most personal piece of work I have ever done 

The Guardian, 20 November 2004 Watch This  

Peter Hall took the tradition of naturalistic theatre in to film…

… turning the stories of people's lives into drama

Hailed as a masterpiece on its release, the film cuts to the heart of a side of British life that has since almost entirely died out

innovative film

Roger Clarke, The Independent, 20 November 2004 Films of the Week ****   
Alexander Walker called this fascinating docu-drama , which uses a largely non-professional cast, “one of the best films … made in and about England”; it's certainly of its time        

Daily Mail, 20 November 2004 Choice      

Simon Wardell, The Sunday Times, 21 November 2004 Best Film of Week       

Peter Hall's unique film

The photography by Ivan Strasburg recalls painters such as Constable and gives the film a very English flavour – nostalgic but with an awareness of how tough rural life can be … every scene is grounded in the land the performers live on and has a sure sense of place        

Philip French, The Observer, 21 November 2004 Film of the Day
It looks beautiful, has a soaring score by Michael Tippett …     

Geoff Ellis, Radio Times, 25 November 2004 Today's Choice 

A beautiful portrait of English rural life … was a real one-off

Nostalgic and beguiling it may be, but cosy it isn't    

Stephen Dalton, The Times, 25 November 2004 Film Choice 
A beautifully composed living tableaux      

Matt Brerton, The Scotsman, 25 November 2004 TV Choice 

Legendry theatre director Sir Peter Hall adapts Ronald Blythe's testimonial memoir …

The largely non-professional cast give the film an ultra-realistic feel …    

Gerard O'Donovan, The Daily Telegraph, 26 November 2004 Review 

How lovely to see BBC4 showing Peter Hall's 1974 film Akenfield

There are many reasons why Akenfield is regarded as a landmark in British film-making

… its television broadcast, which drew 14 million viewers. An extraordinary number for a film of this type

… it was highly experimental, blurring fiction and reality in its evocation of 100 years …

… it captured beautifully and forever a rural lifestyle and tradition …

The integrity of its account was sealed by Hall's insistence of using only local people for his “actors” …

… the cinematography, much of it reminiscent of Constable, remains breathtaking …

For all concerned it's a legacy of which they can feel justly proud

AKENFIELD Revisited (documentary)
National Press Reviews 2004 (in date order)

Simon Horsford, The Daily Telegraph, 20 November 2004 Pick of the Day  

In 1974, Peter Hall made a now famous drama/documentary about a small Suffolk village …

Akenfield Revisited looks back to how this nostalgic, informal film was made (the use of non-professional cast made it all the more personal) …      

Daily Mail, 20 November 2004 Pick of the Day ****

Hall's ground-breaking idea …

Peter Hall's innovative film    

The Sunday Times, 21 November 2004 Pick of the Week  
(Akenfield) is credited with influencing British indie cinema

Karl French, The Financial Times, 25 November 2004 Television Preview 
Thirty years ago director Peter Hall, producer Rex Pyke and writer Ronald Blythe set out on an ambitious mission to adapt “Akenfield”, the book that Blythe himself had deemed unfilmable

Mail on Sunday, 25 November 2004 Choice