Moira and I, along with friends Gareth, Alan, Eilidh and Ed went to the Watershed this afternoon to see Scott Graham’s film “Iona”. The storyline is about a woman called Iona (played by Ruth Negga) who, after a brutal crime, has sought refuge with her teenage son, Bull (played by Ben Gallacher), on the island of her birth that's also her namesake.
might imagine, having visited the island a number of times and having spent two
months there as a volunteer with the Iona Community in 2012, this was obviously
a must-see film for me… and so I spent a good deal of the film thinking to
myself “yes, I know that place very well… and just down there lives so-and-so”
and remembering the weekly ceilidh in the village hall (where we were NOT
allowed any alcohol, incidentally!).
plus-point was that the film also featured the excellent Douglas Henshall (who
played Jimmy Perez in the “Shetland” TV series) as a widower crofter.
makes excellent use of the Hebridean landscapes (even though the weather wasn’t
as good as my time on the island in 2012!) and pays close attention to the part
religion plays in the island's life (but perhaps a little too fleetingly to my
mind?). He also deals sensitively with the courtship between Bull and a
beautiful young girl (played by Sorcha Groundsell) who can't walk.
moves at a very slow pace and dialogue is relatively sparse… which seems only
to accentuate the unspoken mystery of past events. The more we learn about the
characters, the less mysterious they become. The plot is only revealed very
be wrong for me to give away too much about the storyline(!)… but it essentially
involves guilt between members of a small family and one is left with the feeling
that, within a tiny island community, “the truth will out, so don’t try to hide
read through some reviews of the film and some of them (particularly the
American ones?) don’t seem to have much knowledge or comprehension of what it’s
like to live on a tiny Scottish island such as this.
I enjoyed the film very much –
although perhaps I’m slightly biased!
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