Penda's Fen (1974)

Alan Clarke's weird and wonderful cult TV drama.

Film details

Introduction

When Penda’s Fen was first broadcast in 1974, The Times commented that it was a ‘major work of television’, only for the film to vanish into unseen cult status – viewing Penda’s Fen became a clandestine activity for esoteric enthusiasts. It is now recognised as an extraordinary countercultural investigation of landscape, myth, and the self at a crucial moment in post-war Britain.

A public schoolboy in the Malvern Hills undergoes a series of visionary experiences which strip away many of his complacent assumptions about his place in the world. David Rudkin’s peerless teleplay uses Stephen’s journey of self-discovery as a microcosm through which to refract questions of sexuality and national identity.

Cast & Credits

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