Thursday, 23 July 2015

From Scotland with Love: NZFF Review

From Scotland with Love: NZFF Review


New Zealand director Virginia Heath and King Creosote have created something that will resound with many in the Dunedin district or anyone with Scottish heritage.

Taking in hours of archival footage and trawling through people's home movies, this unique collaboration has wielded some intriguing results which were initially released to coincide with the 2014 Scottish Commonwealth games.

Weaving themes of love, work, industry, immigration, and most importantly, Scotland's social history, this is the tale of thousands of ordinary lives told in an extraordinary way.

From trips to beaches, to protests being dispersed, the whole tapestry of the country in simpler times is put under the microscope and sound-tracked by King Creosote's folksy OST which bolsters the images and gives them an added dimension.

Several sequences stand out as they represent different parts of history - from the launch of a steamship in all its magnitude definitely feels like a moment brought to life and the sequences of ships leaving full of people as they emigrate packs an emotional punch that you'd probably not see coming.

Granted, perhaps afficianados of Scotland would see a lot more in this piece, and get some of the subtleties of the area - it's not a film that panders to a timeline, gives you captions to get into the timezone or definitive landmarks for you to scope out. But those factors don't hamper the film as it proffers up a window into simpler times, a ramble through the brambles of the highlands and striking images from a nation rich in heritage and culture.

The recognition factor will likely spark a wave of nostalgia in many who are going to see glimpses of families past, and of a time gone by. From a child wearing her mother's over-sized shoes to a child wrapped in calipers on the beach, the striking and universal images live from the screen as much as any overdone CGI blockbuster ever could.

This may be From Scotland With Love, but the love Virginia and Creosote have shown in compiling this comes poring from the home-movie format and linger long after the curtain has risen on us, but fallen on a past.

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