Coming of Age in Scotland - Bill Forsyth Trilogy at Berlinale Forum
Bill Forsyth Trilogy
My Childhood (1972)
My Ain Folk (1973)
My Way Home (1978)
13 February 2010
Delphi Filmpalast, Berlin
Director: Bill Forsyth
Cast: Stephen Archibald, Hughie Restorick, Jean Taylor-Smith, Karl Fleisler, Bernard McKenna, Paul Kermac, Lenox Milne, Jessie Combe, William Carroll, Morag Mcnee
A fine start. Part of the anniversary series "4 Decades of the Forum," this epic three-parter traces the progress of what the Berlinale program calls "an unloved and neglected child" of a Scottish mining village from short pants through trousers to military uniform.
While Jamie, the child in question, is certainly neglected and often abused, I wouldn't say he is unloved. In each film of the trilogy, men and women do love him in their way, and often with true compassion.
Jamie's two grandmothers, both crazy in their own ways - one of them astonishingly cruel, manipulative, and hateful - manage to earn the boy's affection in the end. And a series of men, starting with a German POW, continuing through an orphanage headmaster, and ending with a fellow soldier, love him truly and kindly.
No score in these movies - just the cry of the wind, the scream of the train. And visions of aching desolation. Working with the most minimal palette, Douglas creates effects that match or surpass any of the social realists. And one dream sequence, a shower of inflated condoms, would make David Lynch proud.
Each of the movies cuts to black at the end, but in the end, the cut leads us to the possibility of happiness. From a long meditation on a scene of pure and absolute desolation, to a beautiful spring orchard in bloom, to black. Who knew such a film existed? Not I, until tonight.
Visit the Forum website.
Posts for peace, sound environmental stewardship, humane economic policy and promotion of human health and creativity. About the blogger.
Tags: Berlinale , Film Festivals , Bill Forsyth , My Childhood , My Ain Folk
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.