In This Blessed Plot, which takes its title from John of Gaunt’s deathbed speech singing the praises of England in Shakespeare’s Richard II, director Marc Isaacs examines the social and cultural fabric of the United Kingdom, the subject of all his films. This time he creates an eccentric mix of documentary and fiction in Essex.
Lori, a Chinese filmmaker, visits the historic village of Thaxted, where Pier Paolo Pasolini filmed part of the Middle English epic The Canterbury Tales. Looking for a subject for a film, Lori hears stories of ghosts from the past, including one about the 20th-century socialist vicar Conrad Noel. She is curious about how his socialism differs from the Chinese version, and has conversations with his spirit in the afterlife.
Lori meets some remarkable locals, who talk to her about love, parting, grief and loss. Gradually she becomes involved in a plot between villagers Keith, Sue, Maggie, Norman and ”Uncle,” which is at times farcical, and at others dramatic, and she is introduced to English folklore and spirituality.