Living in the Valley
Life in the valley has
never looked so good
Dir Christine Felce The Space, Stroud Sunday, March 12 2006
This film is an exquisite look into the alternative-minded rural idyll that is Chalford, a community driven by a local shop which is staffed by volunteers.
It benefits from a filmmaker directly involved in the community, who takes an active part in the film, behind and in front of the camera, even being offered honey by some of her interviewees.
Felce uses subtle, carefully administered time-lapse to skip back and forth throughout the year in which the film was made, creating a vivid patchwork picture of a village in constant motion.
She has caught the tender qualities o f light and life in this beautiful valley, from the Chalford Feast to the delights of finding puffballs in the fields, focusing on a careful selection of residents, from 90-year-old Norman, who's lived in Chalford since he was six months old, to twins Mark and Johnny, building a tree-house dwelling in the woods, from Iris, who whistles as she walks the village's bounds, to a gaggle of children running through the streets.
The film reminded me of my childhood in the 1970s, in another small valley near Stroud - only the technology seems to have changed. Children still romp in the woods; play pranks, stumble through Easter Egg hunts and boast forlornly that when they grow up they'll earn lots of money.
It's a lovely film, and deserves a wider audience.
Stroud News & Journal