Rent On the Black Hill (1988)

3.3 of 5 from 54 ratings
1h 52min
Rent On the Black Hill Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
Chronicling the travails of the Jones family - Amos (Bob Peck), Mary (Gemma Jones), and their three children - the heart of the story is the intense relationship between their sons, identical twins Benjamin and Lewis (played by real-life brothers Mike and Robert Gwilym). Sharing a unique bond, the brothers journey through eight decades of life, death and hardship together, all the while tied to the land on which they were raised. The epic sweep of the film takes in two world wars, exploring themes of nationalism, class, community, faith and pacifism.
Though unrelenting in its portrayal of the raw experiences of rural life, 'On the Black Hill' celebrates the people of the Black Mountains and its landscape, made transcendent by the magnificent cinematography of Thaddeus O'Sullivan.
Actors:
Aled Baker, Rhys Baker, , , , , Kim Caswell, , , , Claire Evans, Huw Evans, Lillian Evans, , , , , , ,
Directors:
Producers:
Jennifer Howarth
Writers:
Bruce Chatwin, Andrew Grieve
Studio:
BFI Video
Genres:
Classics, Drama
BBFC:
Release Date:
30/03/2008
Run Time:
112 minutes
Languages:
English LPCM Mono
Subtitles:
None
DVD Regions:
Region 0 (All)
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.77:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • A Short Film About Belonging And Friendship In The Welsh Borders;
  • Film Stills Gallery
BBFC:
Release Date:
22/08/2016
Run Time:
116 minutes
Languages:
English LPCM Mono
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • An Introduction by Andrew Grieve (2016, 20 mins): newly-filmed interview with the director
  • Special Collections Gallery: a selection of stills and promotional media
  • Shadow on the Mountains (Arthur Elton, 1931, 20 mins)
  • O'er Hill and Dale (Basil Wright, 1932, 16 mins)

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Reviews (1) of On the Black Hill

Remarkable Adaptation - On the Black Hill review by CV

Spoiler Alert
17/10/2023

I read this book some time ago in our Book Club which was not my choice. I found the book more interesting than enjoyable. It's about an odd Welsh family set at the turn of last century. A Welsh farmer marries a well-to-do woman who is educated and well-travelled and they produce two twin sons who, though relationally close to each other, do not really socialize with others outside their family very successfully. Later there is a daughter who leaves the family. The story is essentially about the growing-up of these two sons who have a telepathic relationship with each other throughout their long lives. It seemed an odd theme for a novel and stranger still for a film. But I actually found the film quite enlightening and the producer has made a remarkable adaptation of the book, especially when it is set in location in the Welsh borders featuring all the seasons and aspects of Welsh social and farming history. Also, extras show two atmospheric films in black and white about sheep farming in the earlier 20th Century.

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