Lie of the Land, The

Great Britain 2007, Documentary, 75' | Director, DoP, Distribution Molly Dineen | Sound Colin Martin | Production Molly Dineen, Catherine Bailey

Synopsis
»When I started to make the film I really thought it would be more about fox-hunting than agriculture. What I didn't realise was just how much of a watershed moment we're at for the rural way of life and this quickly became the focus of my film. The more I followed the farmers, the more I realised I didn't know about the harsh realities of rural living – not to mention the hypocritical way that most people, including myself, see the countryside as a picture-perfect postcard that we can dip in and out of without concerning ourselves with the realities of life there.«
Molly Dineen

Ian is a 63 year-old from Cornwall who has worked on the land his entire life. For many years, he has performed the ›flesh run‹ for the local hunt – a job that sees him visiting farms across the county, taking unwanted animals to feed the hounds ‒ young, male calves that dairy farmers can no longer afford to rear for beef. Molly follows him on a typical 'flesh run'. Paul is a huntsman also from Cornwall who also undertakes the 'flesh run'. As someone who has been brought up in the countryside he feels the killing of healthy animals is wrong and talks of how everyday he has a pang of conscience. Glynn is a game farmer in Worcestershire who has had to bring in an agricultural advisor to help him and his wife work through the red-tape and paperwork now required of every farm. Glynn believes that the government doesn't care about farmers any more.
The Lie of the Land follows three working country people and paints a disturbingly visceral portrait of farming today.

 

Biography
Molly Dineen is an independent British documentary filmmaker who is well-known in particular for her portraits. In these she shows people or institutions undergoing change: ladies of the manor, for example, who are selling their farm in Kenya to the servants, a London underground station that is about to collapse, a former Spice Girl who turns her back on the media or London Zoo, stuck in a financial crisis. In 1997, she filmed an election campaign for Tony Blair which was screened on all channels just before his election victory. Molly Dineen's films have won many awards. In 2002, she won the Grierson Trustees Award for her »outstanding contribution to the art of the documentary«.

Films by Molly Dineen
The Lord's Tale 2002 | Geri 1999 | The Heart of the Angel 1989 | My African Farm 1988 | Operation Raleigh: The Mountain; The Village 1988 | Home from the Hill 1985

Molly Dineen
Great Britain
2007
Documentary
2011
Focus: Now What