Monday, 1 October 2007

Continuing Controversy Blusters About Gaelic Language Feature Film 'Searchd: The Impossible Pinnacle' (2007) while Audiences and Movie Critics Rave

Pictured above: publicity still from the Gaelic Language feature film, Searchd: The Impossible Pinnacle (2007).]

A major controversy surrounding the Gaelic Language Film Searchd: The Impossible Pinnacle (2007) --

“No one can tell the truth – just stories.”

So concludes Aonghas’ enigmatic grandfather (played by renowned poet and storyteller Aonghas Pàdraig Caimbeul) as he approaches the end of his life in this Scottish Gaelic tale about a childhood on the Islands.

It’s a film specifically about storytelling, and about the firm location of old stories in particular landscapes."

"A fitting theme for the first ever feature film in Scottish Gaelic."

[Quoted above from the programme book of the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2007]

What the critics are saying:

"Gorgeously-realised blend of magic realism and family drama" THE HERALD
"Dramatic, funny, spectacular and steeped in Gaelic mythology" THE LIST
"Glows with warmth and humanity" THE OBSERVER
"Visually breathtaking" BBC

And now, according to the Guardian:

"He knew some people would think he was taking a risk in making his film in Gaelic. According to the 2001 census, only 1.2% of the population of Scotland speaks the language, some 58,600 people; and that's a 15% decline over the previous decade."

"Most are in the Western Isles. That said, the language is enjoying a status it has not been afforded for many years, with concerted efforts at a political level to sustain this ancient tongue, first introduced to Scotland from Ireland in the fifth century."

"Less than 100 years ago, children were beaten into speaking English at school. Now, Gaelic-medium education is championed. A national plan has been launched, aiming to stabilise the number of speakers over the next few years, and increase them to 100,000 by 2041."

"There has been an increase in funding for education, media and development, and moves to create the first dedicated Gaelic TV channel."

"'For me, the question is not why make a film in Gaelic but why not make a film in Gaelic?' says Young, who is self-taught in the tongue and whose children are fluent. 'It seemed strange that a culture so full of storytelling didn't particularly have a tradition of cinema. I have never been to a cinema to see a film in Gaelic.'"

"'There is plenty of Gaelic drama but it does seem to have suffered from stereotype. It tends to have been period works. There is a feeling that Gaelic is old-fashioned. I wanted to tackle that head-on.'"

"'Film is the kind of thing that, if you get it right, it does not matter what language it is in,'" says Miller. 'Mel Gibson has proved that more than anyone in recent years. You don't have to know the language to experience the film.'"

"For both men, authenticity was the key. So they collaborated with Gaelic writers, co-directors and a local Gaelic amateur crew and actors. The soundtrack features noted Gaelic musicians, and the whole thing was shot on the island of Skye for £650,000."

[-- Quoted from The Guardian --The movie at the edge of the world -- They found their lead actor up a tree and they held the premiere in a cinema on wheels. Kirsty Scott travels to the Western Isles to catch a little piece of film-making history; Thursday September 27, 2007; The Guardian]

Read the entire story here:,,2177934,00.html

Searchd: The official Website

AIM: ATRiuM Intelligent Media

Chapter Arts Centre Cardiff

Cardiff School of Creative & Cultural Industries


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