We’ve posted a few items here on Folk Horror recently. The classic TV drama Penda’s Fen (1974) is frequently mentioned in this context; I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never seen it (though have just borrowed the DVD). Sukhdev Sandhu writes about the film here. Now Birkbeck University of London, with the BFI and Strange Attractor Press, have organised Child be Strange, a symposium on the film, 10 June 2017.
When Penda’s Fen was first broadcast in 1974, The Times commented that it was a ‘major work of television’, only for the film to vanish into unseen cult status – viewing Penda’s Fen became a clandestine activity for esoteric enthusiasts. Its recent BFI DVD release marks a revival of interest in the film, and it is now recognised as an extraordinary countercultural investigation of landscape, myth, and the self at a crucial moment in post-war Britain. This symposium brings together academics and writers to excavate this weird and wonderful artefact.