Flora Faddy Furry Dance Day, The

by Philpott, Richard

Film: 16mm 1989


Using only music and image, the film follows the structure of the Helston Flora Day and its Furry (or Faddy) Dance (the largest and most ancient ritual dance still performed in Britain today), recalling the spiritual sources of the Celtic Spring festival of Beltane that are deep within all of us - its rituals of purification, fertility, the triumph of Life over Death and the victory of Light over Darkness, (today represented by St. Michael the dragon slayer, patron saint of both Helston and Cornwall). Emphasising the dance/music repetitions, the film stimulates collective unconscious emotions and is finally overwhelmed in an expression of ritual ecstasy. 'Philpott continues his admirable exploration of Britain's alternative/folk culture with this brief study of a Cornish dance festival. Inserted images suggest the pre-christian roots.... but the final impression is the irony of just how sterile, meaningless and bourgeois our rich mythical traditions have become.'--Geoff Andrew, Time Out


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