REVIEW BY KATIE DOHERTY
It was with great relief to see the figure of Professor Ronald Hutton on the screen for A Very British Witchcraft; a respected authority on folklore and Paganism and a most wonderful host to investigate the origins of Britain’s fastest growing religion.
The documentary is primarily based on the life and influence of Gerald Gardner. An eccentric gentleman who had become enveloped in the world of magic and wanted to bring it to the masses, the media and gave it a name; Wicca.
If you are familiar with the conception of Wicca then this documentary will serve as a supplement to what you already know, for those of you who are new to the craft it may give an insight into the historical aspects of Wicca’s conception but it is wise to point out that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the world of Paganism.
The nudist and the witch – Gardner’s life is told through various people, some being Wiccans who, it seems, have been rather touched and transformed by Gardner through his work and his books.
Hutton takes a special visit to Spain, an unlikely place of the dark mystical arts we speak of – to view a collection of Gardner’s own magical tools, we are even treated to a look at his Book of Shadows, all handwritten and illustrated with sigils of the craft. The Holy Grail to modern Wiccans I am sure!
A Very British Witchcraft was well presented and rather thought provoking for those who may want to pursue studies in the esoteric. Tracking tales of witches casting spells, conducting grand rituals to ward off Hitler and an appearance on Panorama has definitely put Gerald Gardner in the history books as an influence and inspiration for many more Wiccans to come.