Saturday, February 08, 2014

The Real Scotland - In Film

We just watched a Scottish movie directed by Ken Loach called The Angels' Share. I've seen a few of his movies, namely Sweet Sixteen and Ae Fond Kiss, and I like them for how realistic their portrayal of life in the West of Scotland is. Sweet Sixteen was even filmed in Greenock!

I find it amusing that when people picture Scotland, they imagine the beautiful mountains, green grass, a light misting rain, and people in kilts eating porridge. They see Braveheart and Brave and Highlander; if they are a little more canny, they might see Trainspotting. But in reality, it's a lot of Sweet Sixteen, Ae Fond Kiss and The Angels' Share. Neds and drugs, drink and thugs. Sectarianism and fitba, track suits and chibs.

It's also beautiful mountains, green grass and misting rain. It's also fine whiskys, Robert Burns and masterful cutting banter. There are a lot of amazing things about Scotland, right along side all the rubbish.  (I really miss Scotland.)

If you want to know what every day Scottish life is really like, and you are over 18, you should check out one of these films. The Angels' Share is about a ned who develops a taste for whiskys and uses it to find a way out of his troubled life for the sake of his girlfriend and new son. Sweet Sixteen is about a kid with a tough background waiting until his mum gets out of prison so they can start a new life, who needs to raise some cash - and does it the only way he knows how. Ae Fond Kiss is about a Pakistani man who falls in love with a Scottish woman and all the problems it presents with his family.

Next on my Ken Loach watch list is Kes. It's an old one, and I don't know why I've not seen it yet.

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