Written by Adam Ganz and directed by Marc Isaacs, This Blessed Plot available at selected cinemas on 26 January.

★★☆☆☆ 2.5/5

Context is important. The Boulting Brothers’ 1939 documentary ‘Ripe Earth’, features heavily in This Blessed Plot. The “Red Vicar”, Conrad Noel, is evoked as a spirit guide for Chinese filmmaker Lori, as she seeks footage in Thaxted. It is important to note that this was the town in which Gustav Holst lived, and so the hymn ‘Thaxted’(provided the tune for ‘I vow to thee my country’), reoccurs at various points throughout the film.

Myth is ever present throughout the film and it sanctify this part of Essex. Director Marc Isaacs displays a nuanced treatment of the romanticised village life with both its quaint charm and grand delusion.

The function of abstractions to tell a universal story feels, to me, at odds with the specificity of the film. From the context required to appreciate the depth of the story to the eccentricities of the characters, there is substantial prerequisite understanding. This is demanding to both the viewer and to Lori.

The feeling of watching This Blessed Plot is similar to having a conversation with an international student, realising half-way that we’ve both had very different discussions, and now facing the choice of either clarifying or going with the flow. Maybe I’ve not understood the intention of the film, though it’s hard to imagine many have.


This review dose not reflect on the organisation’s view.