Review: Digging for Victory, Capel Productions, Darius G Laws and Nick Woolgar, out on DVD now

Digging for Victory is a great look at the Annual Flower and Produce Show in Capel St Mary

Digging for Victory is a great look at the Annual Flower and Produce Show in Capel St Mary - Credit: Archant

In the spirit of full disclosure I should point out I wouldn’t know one end of a leek from the other, I haven’t planted seeds since I was a child and even then nothing successfully grew. I may be the only person in history who’s killed a cactus, won at a school fayre.

Consequently, the allure of allotments and village shows has remained a mystery. Until now.

Suffolk-born filmmakers Darius G Laws and Nick Woolgar’s Digging for Victory focuses on the Annual Flower and Produce Show in Capel St Mary, now in its 36th year.

Some of the most passionate growers around are preparing their crops, sizing up their offerings as well as their competition in this charming story of a Suffolk village allotment and its dedicated plot-holders.

Featuring a diverse cast of characters, Laws and Woolgar’s feature-length documentary debut is a humorous yet respectful look at the passion and friendly rivalry that drives a diverse cast of, often quirky, characters.

It’s a genuinely warm and nostalgic look at this most British of past-times; a slice of life that needs to be nutured and grown - according to village show guidelines, naturally.

An eye-opening, educational, feel-good movie, you can’t help but smile as you see the strong family traditions at play. Grandfathers talk about tending their plot with their grandchildren, young growers barely able to lift a space collect their rosettes.

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Yes, there’s fighting talk over who’s got the plumpest pumpkins, the longest leeks and there are some moments which brought out my inner schoolboy. One moment involving peppers in particular had me chortling. It’s often the growers mocking themselves or each other, never the filmmakers.

A delightful film, very well made. I may even dig out my spade...

Digging for Victory, by Capel Productions, is available from www.diggingforvictorymovie.com

Wayne Savage