14 years in the making, Robbie Fraser’s film pays tribute to Scottish cultural colossus Hamish Henderson – poet, soldier, intellectual, activist and musician.
A much-anticipated documentary about Scottish cultural colossus Hamish Henderson will be screened in Skye, Glenelg and across the Western Isles this month.
Hamish Henderson (1919-2002) was a hugely influential part of Scotland’s cultural scene, a man of boundless passion and curiosity whose poems continue to elevate and inspire.
‘Hamish’ pays tribute to the many contrary forces and diverse facets of Henderson’s life as a poet, soldier, intellectual, activist, songwriter and leading force of the revival of Scottish folk music.
From an English orphanage and the draughty corridors of Cambridge to overseeing the capitulation of the Italian army in WWII and penning the most celebrated Scottish ballad in contemporary folk music “Freedom Come Aa Ye”, this is Henderson’s life told by those who knew him best and loved him most.
Robbie Fraser’s film weaves golden archive footage with the loving testimony of Henderson’s family, friends and colleagues.
“It’s been a privilege to work on a film about Hamish Henderson” says Robbie. “He’s a wee bit lost right now, faded from view. But he needs to be re-cemented into the Scottish imagination as a poet, a maker and an inspirer of people.”
I knew Hamish when I was a student at Edinburgh University” says the film’s writer Kevin MacNeil. “I found him and his colleagues such as John MacInnes and Margaret Bennett so inspiring I dropped my plans to study English Literature and took a degree in Scottish Ethnology instead.
“It was a particular coup to hear from Hamish’s widow and daughters what living with Hamish and his influence has been like. What emerges is an honest and fascinating portrait of a complex and enormously influential man.”
‘Hamish’ is produced by Bees Nees Media (Glasgow). It is supported by MG Alba, BBC Alba and Creative Scotland. The key contributions were filmed in Edinburgh in the autumn of 2015, including filming in the legendary folk institution Sandy Bell’s.
The film’s original soundtrack is composed by Jim Sutherland, himself hugely influenced and encouraged by Hamish Henderson.
Full Tour Dates 2016 GFT Glasgow 3, 4 & 5 June; Macrobert Stirling 3-7 June; Perth Playhouse 3-7 June; Edinburgh Filmhouse 3-8 June; Eden Court Inverness 3-9 June; An Lanntair Stornaway 4 June; The Tower Helensburgh 4 June; DCA Dundee 5 June; Grosvenor Glasgow 6-9 June; Aros Portree 9 June; Glenelg 10 June; Robert Burns Centre Dumfries 10-12 July. With Screen Machine: Lochmaddy 11 June; Daliburgh 16 June; Liniclate 19 June; Tarbert (Harris) 21 June; Fort Augustus 1 July; Fort William 2 July; Lochaline 7 July