A feature length documentary film, entitled Scotland Yet, which explores the Scottish independence movement will premiere at the Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh, on Tuesday 8 July at 7pm.
The documentary, the first feature length film in Scotland financed solely through crowd funded donations, asks why a country, once at the heart of the union, now stands on the brink of irrevocable change.
Eschewing many of the staples of referendum coverage: such as confrontations between political ‘big guns’ and the bear pit of party politics, Scotland Yet looks instead at a surge in grassroots political activity and brings together a vast array of voices from across contemporary Scotland.
Since launching a successful crowd funder in October 2013, the team behind the film have documented the lives of several activists. In doing so they have created a candid and authentic portrayal of a country preparing for its most significant political decision in 300 years.
Though free of mainstream politicians, Scotland Yet contains a diverse range of opinion, including commentators such as Tariq Ali, Adam Tomkins, Ian Bell, Ruth Wishart, Lesley Riddoch, Derek Bateman and Neal Ascherson; veteran activists like Ian Hamilton QC, George Galloway, and Jim Sillars and several of Scotland’s top artists, including Dick Gaughan and Karine Polwart.
Taking a radically different approach to the referendum, the film revels in a unique mix of personal, political and geographic journeys. In doing so it provides a unique perspective on the issues at hand, offering a space, its creators hope, to start different conversations about Scotland’s future.
Director Jack Foster said of the documentary:
‘This is a must see film for undecided voters. If you’re confused about the referendum and want to think about the big issues without feeling pressured to vote one way or the other, get yourself along to a screening.’
Scotland Yet is an independent film, the first feature length offering from Foster’s start up company Rough Justice Films. Foster feels that this lack of affiliation to any particular narrative or agenda, has provided the necessary freedom to look beyond the headline issues:
You can’t make a good film out of propaganda. What we’ve produced here is a documentary about a movement, but we don’t shy away from looking at the hard realities, tensions and challenges, that have shaped that movement’.
It was not just artistic drive that provided the impetus for this project. As the hundreds of donations that resourced the film demonstrate, there is a real thirst for fresh new approaches to portraying alternative visions of Scotland on screen.
‘Somebody needed to ask why there is such a groundswell of interest in Scottish politics at this time: we’ve crafted something that seeks to answer that question.
To do so, you need to look beyond the official campaigns and political parties, this is not about their agendas, it’s about the working people of Scotland, this film is for them, whether yes, no or undecided,’ added Foster.
The title ‘Scotland Yet’ refers to a song written by the late Davy Steele, (the Battlefield Band, Ceolbeg, Clan Alba) at the time of the devolution referendum in 1997. It was released on his 1997 album Chasing Shadows (FMS/Temple Records). He took the title from a 19th Century poem by Henry Scott Riddell. Several performances of the song will feature in the film.
After its first screening at the Cameo Cinema, the film will be shown at free events in St Andrews on Monday 14 July, Forres on Wednesday 18 July, Ullapool on Saturday 19 July and Carluke on the 28th July with more dates to follow.