The Moon and the Sledgehammer (1971)
Directed by Philip Trevelyan
From the first moment of the cult documentary, The Moon and the Sledgehammer (1971), we are taken into a disturbing, marginal and strangely marvellous world: the home of the Page family, who live without electricity or running water in a wood in Sussex. It is 1969 and “Oily” Page is a theatrical septuagenarian who lives with four grown-up children in the style of 1869: they’re not hippies who’ve gone off grid, but the last members of an agricultural community driven to extinction by modern machines.
Followed by This is my Land, directed by Ben Rivers, 14 minutes
Introduced by artist and filmmaker Ben Rivers, This is my Land is a cinematic portrait of a self-sufficient, solitary man called Jake Williams. Residing in a ramshackle cottage in rural Aberdeenshire, Rivers films Williams as he goes about his daily routine. Much of Rivers’s work focuses on the self-contained worlds of those who have turned their backs on aspects of modern living. In utilising an old Bolex camera the film has an archival quality, which gives the impression that Williams is a character from the past rather than the here and now. It is a tender exploration of a man who has separated himself from contemporary society.