Supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network
A FLYTING OF SCREEN AND SANG
Scotland | PG
A one-off event pitching the voices of some of Scotland’s most celebrated traditional musicians into conversation with a series of short, silent films from the National Library of Scotland’s Moving Image Archive. A glimpse into Scottish folk history, from crofting townships on Eriskay to Ayrshire mining villages, from Dawn Cine’s charged address to 1950s Glasgow.
The soundtrack was performed live by Glasgow’s Arthur Johnstone and Brian Miller, and Radio 2’s Folk Musician of the Year, Rachel Newton.
FOLK FILM GATHERING | 2018 SCREENINGS
THE WHITE BIRD PASSES
Michael Radford | Scotland | 1980 | 12
Crowded, dirty, yet full of life, ‘the Lane’ is the only home Janie has ever known. But when the Cruelty Man arrives, bringing the threat of the dreaded orphanage, Janie’s contented childhood seems to be at an end. An adaption of Jessie Kesson’s Scots literary classic which explores growing up on the backstreets of 1920’s Aberdeen. From the team that would go on to make ‘Another Time, Another Place’.
The film was introduced with Scots folk songs from the North East from Ruth Kirkpatrick.
A SENSE OF PLACE : FILM CEILIDH
Scotland | U
Hosted by Donald Smith, the Folk Film Gathering’s first ever film ceilidh explored the poetic, political and spiritual approaches to how we see place in Scottish cinema. The session mixed a series of short, experimental documentaries with songs from Traveller storyteller, Jess Smith, and contributions from Scottish writer and activist, Alastair McIntosh, and Glasgow University Lecturer and filmmaker, David Archibald.
Nils Gaup | Norway | 1987 | 15
The first fillm to be made within the Sami community in Northern Scandinavia, this Oscar-nominated, epic adventure story is about a young boy’s attempts to bring justice to the men that murdered his family. Based on one of the few surviving Lapp legends (the director, Nils Gaup, himself a Lapp, heard it from his own grandfather), ‘Pathfinder’ is a thrilling coming-of-age tale about the timeless struggle between good and evil.
The film was introduced with traditional Scandinavian music from Marit Falt.
MALIGLUTIT / SEARCHERS
Zacharius Kunuk | Alaska | 2016 | 15
An indigenous Alaskan remake of John Ford’s classic Western, ‘The Searchers’ relocates the action to the indigenous communities of the Canadian Arctic. Kuanana returns from a caribou hunt to find his wife and daughter have been kidnapped. Assisted by his father’s spirit helper, the loon Kallulik, he sets out into the Arctic wilds in pursuit of the kidnappers to bring his family home.
The film was introduced with traditional music from Alaskan harpist Cheyenne Brown.
CHRONICLE OF A SUMMER
Jean Rouch | France | 1961 | 12
The pioneering documentary that launched the cine-verite movement paints a dizzying, breathless portrait of the lives of a diverse cross-section of Parisians in the summer of 1960. Taking their camera out into the streets of Paris to document the experiences of factory workers, students, immigrants and young holocaust survivors alike, Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin yield startling insights about the lives of diverse communities in Paris, to conjure a profound, sprawling meditation upon the nature of happiness.
The film was introduced with Parisian chansons from Coreen Scott.
Peter Hall | England | 1974 | 12
A poetic hymn to the life of rural communities in Suffolk, charting the lives of three subsequent generations living and working on the land. Reminiscent of the films of Terence Malick, ‘Akenfield’ is a powerful exploration of the relationship between a farming community and the land amidst continuities and disruptions. Will Tom stay in Akenfield and continue the life his father and grandfather have led before him?
Alan Clarke | England | 1974 | 12
One of the first folk horror films, ‘Penda’s Fen’ is a startling evocation of the deep echoes of the past within Worcestershire’s Malvern Hills. Through a series of real and imagined encounters with angels, demons and England’s pagan past, Stephen (a pastor’s son) begins to question his religion and politics whilst coming to terms with his sexuality.
The film was introduced by a special 30-minute set from celebrated Scots folk musician Alasdair Roberts.
ILL FARES THE LAND
Bill Bryden | Scotland | 1983 | PG
A rare chance to see Bill Bryden’s poetic portrait of the last days of life upon St Kilda. ‘Ill Fares the Land’ sensitively charts the daily lives of the last five families remaining on the island – through funerals, weddings and rites of passage – as they edge closer to the decision that will change their lives forever.
The film was introduced with traditional Scots/ Scandinavian folk songs from Rona Wilkie and Marit Falt.
BYKER / TODAY I’M WITH YOU
Amber Collective | England | 1983 / 2010 | 12
Amber return to the Folk Film Gathering with two documentaries about The Byker estate in Newcastle, based upon the work of celebrated photographer Sirkka-Liisa Kontinnen. Featuring a highly topical exploration of the lives of immigrants to the UK, Amber’s films fuse memory, portraiture and music to document the changing experiences facing communities in inner city Newcastle.
The films were introduced with North England folk songs from Sean Paul Newman, and followed by a Q&A with Sirkka-Liisa Kontinnen and Peter Roberts.
KAISA’S ENCHANTED FOREST
Katja Gauriloff | Finland | 2016 | 12
An enchanting documentary about the life-long friendship between Swiss author Robert Crottet and spritely community matriarch Kaisa Gauriloff in Northern Scandinavia, celebrating the rich oral traditions of the Skolt Sami community in Finland. Directed by her great-granddaughter, Kaisa’s magical storytelling counterpoints the historical account of the Skolt Sami community fortunes in 20th century Europe.
The film was introduced with Finnish folk music from Mike Ferrie.
LA VILLE EST TRANQUILLE
Robert Guediguian | France | 2000 | 18
A powerful, timely exploration of immigration and the rise of European right, ‘La Ville Est Tranquille’ masterfully weaves a narrative tapestry from the lives of a diverse group of Marseilles individuals. Set within the working class neighbourhood of L’Estaque, the paths of Michelle (a fish market worker), Paul (a dockworker turned cabdriver) and Abderamane (a young North African man just out of prison) converge on a journey through the lives and daily struggles of an entire city.
The film was introduced with folk songs from Steve Byrne.
NIGHT OF SHOOTING STARS
Taviani Brothers | Italy | 1982 | 12
In Tuscan folklore, the Night of San Lorenzo (shooting stars) is when dreams come true. Set in 1944, the Taviani Brothers’ masterpiece documents the fortunes of a community one fateful night as they attempt to flee the Nazis. A powerful, deeply magical and surprisingly funny account of a community fighting for life.
The film was introduced with Tuscan folk songs from Simone Caffari, and followed by a discussion hosted by Edinburgh University’s Pasquale Iannone.
HALLAIG: THE POETRY AND LANDSCAPE OF SORLEY MACLEAN
Timothy Neat | Scotland | 1984 | 12
Timothy Neat returns to the Folk Film Gathering to present his powerful, award-winning documentary ‘Hallaig’, exploring the life and work of the celebrated Gaelic poet Sorley Maclean. Featuring contributions from Seamus Heaney and Iain Crichton Smith, this is a powerful celebration of one of Scotland’s most pivotal cultural figures and the landscape which shaped him.
The film was introduced by Gaelic poetry specialist John Stuart Murray and followed by an audience with the director, hosted by Donald Smith.