Screened as part of NZIFF 2015
Expat New Zealand director Virginia Heath collaborated with prolific Scottish indie folksinger King Creosote (Kenny Anderson) to pair archival footage with original songs and create this vibrant elegy for 20th-century Scotland. Their film offers no interviews or voice-overs, relying instead on Anderson’s poetic songs to tell stories and embellish a myriad of documentary clips: industry, education, protest, housing, war, rural life, and, most stirringly, parties, parades, celebrations, holidays in the Highlands or at the beach. The past we see may be almost as foreign a country now to those who live there as to anyone who’s never set foot: it’s impossible to watch the lively throngs in this film without considering how massively the social contract has changed in the meantime.
“The detail-rich vignettes (miners smoking, couples skating on frozen rivers, a self-conscious sandwich-board boy advertising Auchtermuchty Flower Show) are almost too much for one sitting. But it’s spellbinding… It’s like a new kind of history programme: immersive, lyrical and, in its way, beautiful.” — Mark Braxton, Radio Times
“During the opening minutes of From Scotland with Love, Scots and those with Scottish blood in their families may feel a certain pang of inherited nostalgia well up inside them. Kenny ‘King Creosote’ Anderson sings with the blend of resoluteness and regret that he musters like few others… Nostalgia, of course is the point… Yet something about the narrative intentions of the film raises it above the status of a misty-eyed trip down memory lane.” — David Pollock, The Scotsman