HIDDEN GIFTS: The Mystery of Angus MacPhee

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  • Biographical
  • Documentary


  • Scottish Screen Collection


  • 2000s

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Title: HIDDEN GIFTS: The Mystery of Angus MacPhee

Reference number: 7498

Date: 2004

Director: d. Nick Higgins

Sponsor: YLE (Finland), SVT (Sweden), ZDF/3Sat (Germany), VPRO (The Netherlands), Grampian Television (Scotland) and Scottish Screen National Lottery Fund

Producer: Nick Higgins

Production company: Lansdowne Productions

Sound: sound

Colour: col

Fiction: non-fiction

Running time: 24.00 mins

Description: Hidden Gifts is a creative documentary that explores the mystery of art and mental illness. It tells the story of Angus MacPhee, "the quiet big man" from South Uist, who wove clothes from grass. Diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1946 Angus was taken from his island home on South Uist to Craig Dunain psychiatric hospital among the hills near Inverness in the Scottish highlands. For fifty years he spoke not a single word to any member of the hospital staff. His presence was also an absence; his secret grass weaving his only form of expression. [synopsis from Lansdowne Productions website at http://lansdowneproductions.co.uk/films/hidden-gifts-the-mystery-of-angus-mcphee/, last accessed 12/8/2015]

Winner Best Documentary Film Britspotting 05 Festival (Germany & Switzerland). Nominated for Royal Television Society Programme Awards (London). Official Selection XIX Parnu International Documentary & Anthropology film festival (Estonia). Official Selection Monterrey International Film Festival (Mexico). Nominated for the Royal Television Society Awards 2005.

See also book "Angus McPhee: Weaver of Grass" by Joyce Laing (2000). This is available to consult in National Library of Scotland's General Reading Room at Shelfmark HP1.201.0669.

You can view this film online at: http://lansdowneproductions.co.uk/films/hidden-gifts-the-mystery-of-angus-mcphee/ [last accessed 12/8/2015]

Credits: d. and p. Nick Higgins
camera Scott Ward
sd. Marcelo de Oliviera, Robert Anderson
camera ass. Stephanie Bates, Andrew M'Itwamwari
p. man. Abigail Howkins
original music Alasdair Roberts
rostrum John Butler
sd. mix Les Taylor
ed. Tadhg O'Sullivan
colourist Phil Findlater
exec. p. Henry Eagles & Becky Lloyd
Thanks to Peggy Cross and family, Joyce Laing & The Art Extraordinary Trust, The Collective Gallery, Leslie Hills, Vicky Conieczny, Monica Higgins & Rob Bruce, School of Scottish Studies, Edinburgh, Visit Hebrides, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Lansdowne Productions in association with YLE (Finland), SVT (Sweden), ZDF/3Sat (Germany), VPRO (The Netherlands), Grampian Television (Scotland) and Scottish Screen National Lottery Fund.

Lansdowne Productions for Grampian TV. © MMIV