Essentially a rerelease of Michael Powell's 'The Edge of the World' (1937), but with color book-ends in which director and actors revisit the island of Foula forty years later and talk about their experiences.
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A trio wanders the cliffs of an Outer Hebridean island and encounters a gravestone at the edge of a precipice; it reads, "Peter Manson ... gone over." One man in the trio knows the story of the gravestone and tells it to the others... It is ten years earlier, and the way of life on the island is dying; steam trawlers from the mainland threaten its survival as a fishing port. Peter Manson, one of the community's leaders, resists evacuating to the mainland, though his son Robbie is about to leave the island himself. Meanwhile, Robbie's twin sister plans to marry his best friend, Andrew Gray. Andrew and Robbie argue over evacuation and decide to settle the matter by racing to the top of a cliff. Ruth is terrified: she may lose them both. The race ends in tragedy, which tears apart the families of Manson and Gray. Times passes and Ruth reveals she is pregnant with an illegitimate child. This promises to bring the two families back together, but not before desperation hits the islanders. ... Written by
An interesting film and well worth seeing for those interested in Scottish theme films. The comparison with Man of Aran is valid, in that it depicts an isolated island community struggling to eke out an existence.
What was missing for me was even a hint at the language these island people of "Hirta" would have spoken, Scottish Gaelic. The church scene with its psalm singing was executed better than in "The Little Minister", but still without making an effort to portray the real thing. The singing was in English, using a Lowland style and the precentor did not chant the line, but read it! They had clearly not visited any Highland churches before preparing the scene.
The documentary film, appended to this, "Return to the Edge of the World" was wonderful and I found it equally enjoyable.
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