From Scotland with Love

Directed by Virginia Heath

"Made entirely of Scottish film archive, a journey into our collective past, the film explores universal themes of love, loss, resistance, migration, work and play. Ordinary people, some long since dead, their names and identities largely forgotten, appear shimmering from the depth of the vaults to take a starring role. Brilliantly edited together, these silent individuals become composite characters, who emerge to tell us their stories, given voice by King Creosote's poetic music and lyrics." BBC Four website

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  • ★★★★ review by Wilson on Letterboxd

    A view of Scottish history set to montage of archival footage, much like Of Time and the City, but the history of a country as opposed to a city. A broad canvas, a fascinating look; backed by superb music from King Creosote, heartfelt and beautiful in its own way. The scenes of individuals and families emmigrating are particularly emotive. It might not be, but it felt like solid Yes propaganda, in the best way.

  • ★★★½ review by loureviews on Letterboxd

    A collection of archive footage from over a century of Scottish film-making, set to the music of King Creosote, evoking snapshots of long-forgotten times, faces and customs, but without resorting to cliché, this film is entertaining and celebratory at a time when Scotland is becoming the centre of the sporting calendar.

  • ★★★★ review by David Reynolds on Letterboxd

    The lost ways of life on display in this affecting documentary seem both wracked with hardship but also somehow romantic and idyllic.

    Community and family are emphasized in what could well be a very selective edit and the warmth and innocence of the past is probably a concoction too, but if film exists to transport us then From Scotland with Love does everything right.

  • ★★★★ review by Ethan Tucker on Letterboxd

    A fine slice of Caledonian social history from New Zealand-born and Scottish resident director Virginia Heath, who worked with Fife singer-songwriter King Creosote (Kenny Anderson) to knit together a vivid palate of 20th century life and customs in Scotland. This is no shortbread-tin twee glimpse, but rather a summary of ordinary working life and pastimes sourced as much from private home movie collections as from official sources. Anderson's fine, exuberant songs and instrumentals augment the imagery perfectly without becoming obtrusive or delving into cliche or oversentimentality. In a way it's sad to ponder how little of this life and culture still exists today, but that could be said of any post-industrial society. But this film offers a snapshot of a nation working, playing, falling in love, going to war, and stinging its toes in the bracing surf at Largs, and Scotland is all the better for its presence.

  • ★★★½ review by AngelaMurphy on Letterboxd

    Just massively rewarding and a pleasure to watch.

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