A DOCUMENTARY described as a ‘love letter to my Oxfordshire roots’ is being screened in Chipping Norton and Oxford this month.
Film maker Tim Plester, brought up in Adderbury and Banbury, spent more than two years making Way of the Morris – an emotional story about the Morris traditions and the lost generation of Adderbury dancers in the trenches of the Great War.
After a preview at the Southbank Centre, London, the film had its official world premiere at a huge event in Austin, Texas in March and has been screened at numerous US and UK film festivals.
“We’re all very happy with its amazing success,” said Mr Plester, who went to Drayton School.
“The Texas premiere gave me an opportunity to take my dad, Bill, and my uncle Jim (both Adderbury dancers) with me.”
The film features contributions from singer songwriter Billy Bragg and Fairport Convention’s Chris Leslie. It also utilizes treasured Super-8 archive film shot by Mr Plester’s late grandfather. The documentary shows Mr Plester joining the current Adderbury village Morris side on a 90th anniversary pilgrimage to France where so many of the dancers died. “The Morris runs deep in my veins and yet growing up in Adderbury I’d always regarded it as an awkward-looking and unwelcome family heirloom,” said Mr Plester.
“That all began to change when I heard the story of the lost generation of young Adderbury dancers who died like cattle in the trenches.
“During the two and a half years in the making, the film became a crusade to unearth something altogether more mysterious, magical and magisterial in something that is all too often simply tarred and feathered,” he said. “It’s a love letter to my north Oxfordshire roots.”
Way of the Morris will be screened at Chipping Norton Theatre, September 20-21 and Oxford Phoenix Picturehouse from September 9-13