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  • Outer Hebrides


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  • KISSLING, Werner


  • 1930s

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Title: eriskay - A POEM OF REMOTE LIVES

Reference number: 1701

Date: 1935

Director: filmed by Dr. Werner Kissling

Sound: sound

Original format: 35mm

Colour: bw

Fiction: non-fiction

Running time: 19.00 mins

Description: A study of eriskay's crofting life, filmed by Dr. Kissling during a summer spent on the island.

Filmed mute during summer of 1934 by Kissling. Narration and music added in a London studio. Premiered on April, 1935.

See additional information file at 11/1/42.

David Lockwood executor (Dumfries Museum) has papers, which include annotated script for the film.

See also publication "A Poem of Remote Lives, Images of eriskay 1934. The Enigma of Werner Kissling 1895-1988" by Michael W. Russell (published 1997, foreword by Gus Wylie)

Preservation of this film made possible by a gift in memory of Isabel and David Dickson and supported by the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

Credits: ed. supervision John Gifford
intro. music comp. Duncan M. Morison
[intro.] sung by Sydney MacEwan
tradit. airs sung by London Gaelic Choir
cond. J.S. MacIntyre
sd. rec. by Imperial Sound Studios

Shotlist: Credits and rolling caption (2.20) Shot through rigging of Dr Kissling's yacht across to the island of eriskay (2.40) Gvs island (3.15) John McInnes and his daughter Morag MacLennan working in field scything hay by hand, intercut with long shots of Kissling's yacht sailing up an inlet (4.52) Exterior of blackhouse with John McInnes and Mistress McMillan standing in doorway (5.21) Gvs landscape (5.34) Donkeys carrying peat. Peggy McIntyre unloading peat from donkey to stack, two young men [brothers Dougal and John Macdonald] loading panniers and leading donkeys along path to house (7.24) John McInnes and Morag MacLennan working the fields making stooks (7.50) Various shots of sheep on hillsides (8.55) Sheep are gathered and Alan Johnston, John Cumming, Alan MacMillan and a second John McInnes [amongst others] dip sheep in tub (10.45) Mistress Mary McIsaac, the ferryman's wife, shears sheep by hand (11.26) Mistress Mary Johnston, joined by Mary McIsaac, wash the fleeces. Long shot of house, intercut with women laying fleeces out to dry, teasing and cleaning the wool. Angus Cumming and Mistress John McMillan scrape crottle [lichen] off rocks (12.56) Mistress John McMillan dyes the wool (13.50) Fishing vessels (14.14) Shots of wool being dyed, intercut with shots of fishing boat "Ocean Star" [CY425], the McInnes family boat, Norman on deck at wheelhouse, his brother John inside, and cousin John emerging from below (15.35) Woman lays dyed wool on stones to dry (15.37) Mistress John McMillan spins and Miss Anne McInnes cards wool outside croft (16.25) Woman winds balls of yarn off square frame and lays yarn round a series of pegs on the ground (16.55) Shots of women waulking the tweed, including Peggy McMillan, Mary Theresa McInnes and Mary Johnston (18.28) Man in boat. Shots of landscape (18.56) The End (19.00).

Running time approx 19 minutes

Shotlist of FGD Pos - Preserved + 16 mm print