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  • Amateur
  • Experimental


  • Scottish Amateur Film Festival (SAFF)


  • 1950s

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Overall rating:


Reference number: 9305

Date: 1957*

Director: filmed by Dr. Iain Dunnachie

Sound: sound

Original format: 16mm

Colour: col

Fiction: fiction

Running time: 11.10 mins

Description: An amateur award winning film by Dr. Iain Dunnachie where a mysterious and unsettling summertime walk by the sea is not quite what it seems...

Winner at Scottish Amateur Film Festival, 1958: British Film Institute Prize - £10. Paper archive held at the National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive 2/3/45.

Credits: This film has been specially commended by Amateur Cine World
Iain Dunnachie presents

Shotlist: Shot of man walking up a path, narrator says he was on a hiking tour of Scotland above Inverness, weather mixed. Gvs of beach and countryside. He toured mostly by the sea, shot of lighthouse keeper and men salmon fishing in oilskins. Narrator said he went fishing with the fishermen. He explored the coast line peninsulas. Shot of man walking. Shots of flowers, sea gulls and sea. Narrator said the crofts the man saw were infrequent and those he did see were no longer in use. Some houses stilled occupied. Shot of dead hares. Not seen living person or animal in a long time, no seagulls for a few hours too. Shots of daisies and buttercups. Begin to look for somewhere to stay for the night. Not worried about rough sleeping conditions as did this for the last 10 days in the open and in crofts. Shot of old castle and narrator said he decided to sleep there. Weather very changeable. The castle wall seemed to be unstable. Unlikely to fall that night. Settled in for the night and slept well until the wind rose, howled in castle. Worried about wall. Also walker was hungry. Next day after walking more saw a village. But before got to village saw a dead seagull. Recalled absence of life noted earlier. First house saw was in ruins and in disarray. Church in bad repair, unused for a while. Villa also empty. At this point the narrator says he was pretty hungry. Saw building with signs declaring them as unsafe. Was this village dangerous? Contaminated? GVs of buildings in ruins. Next in the village see some house that looked well-kept and occupied. But no one in the houses. GV of post office also unoccupied. Shots of beached old boats in harbour. No sign of people. Boats not used for a long while. Where was the sea going vessels? Used to escape the village? GVs of the old battered boats in the harbour. Walker explored further for food. Saw pile of nets, GV of nets and lobster pots. A narrator states fisher folk are unlikely to just leave all this equipment. It looks like they left quickly. Shots of unfarmed fields and padlocked Tennis courts. Unused for a long time. Shots of nettles in houses. But as narrator says, some houses looked occupied. Shot of garden path surrounded by flowers. Gardens neat and tidy. In contrast with disarray everywhere else. Narrator said retraced steps back out of the village. Saw a dog sitting outside a ruined house then saw an old man. Shot of men speaking. Narrator said he spoke Gaelic to man. Man’s Gaelic dialect was difficult to understand. Understood from the man that the village was not really deserted just full of old people. The man said just as young people rise and leave early old folk sleep in late. When the walker asked for breakfast the man shook his head. So narrator said walker continued to walk to civilisation and food. Later the walker thought about village and thought the old man’s explanation was too simple. Remembered the dead hare, sea gull and the nettles. As he reached Inver the walker check a map and realised the peninsula ended after the castle. Where the deserted village was, on the map, was the sea. Narrator wonders if he just dreamed the whole thing. THE END