'Going for the Kill'

BBC Documentary DVD

'simply outstanding.'
Bertrand Lapicorey, BBC viewer, London

Across Europe farming is in crisis. In England, fox hunting with hounds has been banned. 'Going for the Kill' is the story of farmer Gary Lee's final hunting season - as his world changes forever.

Makes a great Christmas gift or Birthday present.

'Television at its best.'

Ross Herbert, BBC viewer, Herefordshire

Photo: Arron Wells

Gary Lee and his brother Mark run a large farm in the Sussex South Downs, close to Ditchling. Until April 2005 Gary was also Master of the local Southdown and Eridge Hunt.

Across Europe, farming faces a crisis and February 2005 marked the controversial end, throughout England, of fox hunting with hounds.

Filmed over two years, 'Going for the Kill' is a dramatic, first-person account of how one family struggles to cope with economic forces they barely comprehend and over which they have no control. Remarkable access to the invariably closed and wary hunting fraternity, offers an unusually frank account of the very traditional English sport of fox hunting.

'Going for the Kill' tells the inside story of Gary's final fox hunting season. We accompany Gary and his two sons, as they visit the kennels, where 84 hounds are prepared for the Autumn Season; we join him on an angry demonstration in Parliament Square, London, on the eve of a vital House of Commons vote to ban the hunt.

To purchase the 90 minute dvd of 'Going for the Kill' for £9.99 plus £2 postage and packing, please use the button below.

Photo: Luke Holland

We follow him through the farming calendar, planting, lambing, harvesting - and hunting. The film offers a graphic account of the hunt and asks whether the law is not too blunt an instrument with which to curtail a minority activity - one that features no more cruelty than is routinely encountered in modern farming.

'Going for the Kill' also explores the idea that there is very little that is 'natural' about the English landscape, a landscape forged and fashioned by centuries of farming and hunting. The end of the fox hunt probably means that, at least for the rural fox, the game is also up. With no reason to maintain a fox population, farmers and gamekeepers have already started to wipe them out.

Viewers' comments

'Last night's episode Going for the Kill was simply outstanding.'

Bertrand Lapicorey,London
'I thought that this was an absolutely brilliant programme. It really captured the essence of the countryside and problems associated with maintaining it in its full glory.'
Nicola White, Dorset

'An extremely moving programme, which showed the kind of dignity and spirit which is sadly on the way out. I think the Master was absolutely correct when he said that town people have no idea about country life, idolising it with memories of the past. I feel that the 'not in my backyard' mentality has taken over, but the backyard in this case is the countryside.'
Treherne, Mayfield, East Sussex

'Thank you for such a brilliant, incredibly moving programme - it really was one of the most touching beautifully crafted documentaries I have seen.'

Sarah Anslow, South Devon

'What a wonderful, refreshing programme.'
Mrs Harriet Robbins, Wokingham, Berkshire

'Congratulations on a very honest and thought-provoking episode. It is important that the whole country should see exactly what actually does happen within a hunt and its close community.'

M Craker, Colyton, Devon

'Before watching this I was lazily of the opinion that farmers were all over-subsidised moaners on an EU gravy train and the hunting fraternity were all Yahoo Henrys with personality disorders. I will not be so lazy in future as this documentary has opened my eyes to many realities of country living right on my own doorstep.'
Richard Payne, Brighton

'While at times I was shocked by the explicit camerawork, I was gripped and moved by the depth, beauty, rawness, vulnerability, honesty and authenticity of all involved - both on and off screen.'

Eleanor Chamberlain, Lindford (near Bordon)

'This was (at times excruciatingly) a moving evocation of the desperate plight of UK farming and farming communities. Luke Holland exposes the raw sense of betrayal and alienation that the hunting ban inflicted. The programme does not seek to justify hunting but bleeds for the dispossessed.'
Dr A Agnew, York

'Television at its best.'

Ross Herbert, Linley Green, Herefordshire

To purchase the 90 minute dvd of 'Going for the Kill' for £9.99 plus £2 postage and packing, please use the button below.

The Ditchling Films: 'A Very English Village'
Entitled 'A Very English Village',this series of five documentary films for the award-winning BBC 'Storyville' strand were first transmitted by the BBC in Autumn 2005, and repeated on BBC2 in January 2007.

Salad Days A village production of this hit musical of Cold War England, offers insights on backstage Ditchling - an exercise in nostalgia, or updated escapism for a new dark age?

Looking for Mr Gill
'Looking for Mr Gill' is an exploration of the legacy that Eric Gill, maverick genius of the Arts and Crafts Movement, has left to Ditchling, the early twentieth century setting for his controversial experiment in art and community.

Closing Time
Ditchling campaigns to save the village pub from a commercial assault that makes a nonsense of democracy and of community. Across the UK one pub is lost every weekday

The Ditchling Ladies
This, the last film in the series, features four ladies of Ditchling, two in their nineties, who offer entertaining and improbably lively insights on life, loss and love.

Film reviews and viewers' comments on 'A Very English Village'
'An elegiac 90-minute film...an engrossing and deftly crafted documentary.' The Sunday Times. Read more newspaper reviews and viewers' comments.

Interview with the film-maker, Luke Holland
A transcript of an interview by the BBC with the film-maker, Luke Holland, about the making of the five-part documentary series, 'A Very English Village'.

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