EDEN VALLEY Amber Films 1995/ 95 mins
A feature drama set in a harness racing fraternity, that grew out of Amber’s long term engagement with it after the making of Seacoal in the mid 1980s.
Set in the wilds of County Durham, the film explores horse culture, conflicts between urban and rural values and an evolving relationship between an inner city teenager and the father who abandoned him and his mother ten years earlier to live in a caravan and care for his horses. It draws heavily on the participation of the Laidler family who also featured strongly in Seacoal and talked the Amber collective into buying its first horse. Murray Martin, Amber’s founding visionary, became very much a part of the harness racing world in NE England: The Pursuit of Happiness, made after he died in 2007, explores his relationship with it.
We will be joined by Amber directors and members of the County Durham ‘horsey’ community who were involved in the film.
This screening is part of the season THE WORKED EARTH curated in dialogue with SIDE Gallery’s exhibitions Otherwise Unseen by Tessa Bunney and Waiting for Winter by Rena Effendi both of which explore human relationships with the land. We have drawn films from the Ukraine, Loas, Turkey, France, Italy and England that each expand the conversation around this work. The extraordinary films ask questions about time, humans relationship with the environment and our role within fragile ecosystems. We will also be exploring the tensions between rural and urban environments and the relationships that are grown both in harmony with the land and in opposition.
Each screening will be followed by a facilitated conversation with members of the Amber Collective, invited guests and the audience.