2007 - 2021

Hamish: The Movie

Following its sold-out premiere at the 2016 Glasgow Film Festival, HamishRobbie Frasers much-anticipated documentary about Scottish cultural colossus Hamish Henderson – will tour cinemas across Scotland from the 3rd June.

Hamish Henderson (1919-2002) was a hugely influential part of Scotlands cultural scene, a man of boundless passion and curiosity whose poems continue to elevate and inspire a nation.

Hamish pays tribute to the many contrary forces and diverse facets of Hendersons 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 Hendersons life told by those who knew him best and loved him most.

14 years in the making, this heartfelt look at one of modern Scotlands proudest sons weaves golden archive footage with the loving testimony of Hendersons family, friends and colleagues.

“Its been a privilege to work on a film about Hamish Hendersonsays Robbie. “Hes 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.

It is a very emotional film, and that comes in part because the story is told only through the words of people who knew him personally over many years. Im pretty much the only person on the production who didnt know him, and I wish I had. He was clearly a benevolent, adored and empowering cultural force.

I knew Hamish when I was a student at Edinburgh Universitysays the films 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 Hamishs 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 Bells.

The films original soundtrack is composed by Jim Sutherland, himself hugely influenced and encouraged by Hamish Henderson.

The film owes a great debt to the Hamish Henderson Estate and to Tim Neat for sharing many previously unseen writings, photographs and memorabilia.

HAMISH Cinema Release Dates

See www.facebook.com/HamishMovie for details

Aberdeen Belmont 2-8 June
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
Way Out West Cinema @ The Ceilidh House, Glenelg 10 June
Robert Burns Centre Dumfries 10-12 July

Screen Machine Tour of the Highlands and Islands

Lochmaddy 11 June
Daliburgh 16 June
Liniclate 19 June
Tarbert (Harris) 21 June
Fort Augustus 1 July
Fort William 2 July
Lochaline 7 July


Comments (14)

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  1. Douglas Stuart Wilson says:

    The SNP cabinet meeting on Scottish Culture:

    Fiona: Ken, Alec, they say we need a film studio, but I dinnay ken if we can afford it…
    Nicola: Education, education, education..
    Fiona: Exactly…
    Salmond: The rocks will melt wae the sun afore I allow the Scots to shoot motion pictures…
    Nicola: Education, education, education. We need tae educate the Scots tae shoot films…in other countries…
    Hosie: (Thought bubble: Fine pair ae tits on yon)….
    Fiona: I’m Minister are Kailyard, and happy wi ma joab. But they film-makers, eh? What are they oan? We dinnay dae film in Scotlandshire, eh? We dae the pipes and Burns Suppers. What´s their problem?
    Alex: She’s our Queen too…
    Nicola: Education, education, education…
    Fiona Hyslop: Aye, exactly, They film makers hink they´r something special. I ken ma Scottish culture, and if I hae a doubt, I just go and take a keek at yon wall on the Scottish parliament. A wee bit Scots poetry, that´ll dae me every time…
    Nicola: We will educate everybody in the vicinity, so they can go and further their careers in other countries…
    Fiona Hyslop: Barry. By the way, Janet Archer and Nathalie Urqhuart are goen tae the pictures next week, one ae yon films frae Disney, if yees want tae come…
    Nicola: It would be an education…
    Alex: Till all the seas gang dry, Fiona, and the rocks melt wi the sun…

    Note: Alexander MacKendrick was one of the great Ealing Studio film-makers, born in America to Scottish parents, who had to beg for money in England to shoot his films. A great and truly overlooked Scotsman. Bill Douglas was another such film-maker, and so was Bill Forsyth. Gillian Berrie, a sensational film producer, couldn´t even get into the Scottish BAFTA´s, she had to sell so much of her film negative to finance the wonderful “Under The Skin”


    1. Alf Baird says:

      Excellent sketch, Douglas, says it a’ really. As for films, as for ferries (policy). Hopeless.

      I’m still asking them, the Fiona’s and the Alasdair’s – whaur’s oor ‘Scots Language (Scotland) Act’?

      Mibbe when “all the seas gang dry, Fiona, and the rocks melt wi the sun”?

      They simply refuse tae clean oot the unionist heid bummer stable whit still runs (doun) Scotland.

      Nationalists ma airse. Ma SNP cairds postit back tae. Thay can gang an tak and a rin an jimp.

  2. Jac Gallacher says:

    I saw this premiered in Glasgow. What an absolute gem of a film it is. Hamish lived life to the full and crammed so much in, what a facinating man he was. Don’t miss this one.

  3. Wul says:

    Just bought my tickets, cannae wait.

    Scottish film makers forced to go abroad to work is a real shame. I could never understand why I’ve seen so many great actors in great plays in Glasgow theatres and yet so much boring rubbish on our cinema screens.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Is it merely “a real shame”, or is it racial discrimination? Much like the absence of a ‘Scots Language (Scotland) Act’, which would form the essential basis of cultural revival?

      1. Wul says:

        I meant “real shame” as in a real disgrace. But yes, I think you are right.

  4. Douglas Stuart Wilson says:

    Alf Baird, thanks man….Janet Archer gives a whole different meaning to that Scottish expression, “ye wee dancer…”

    We, who live the beautiful life, will ayeways resists them….Truffaut….Francois Truffuat…what joy he has given us….we will always love him, we film-makers:

  5. Douglas Stuart Wilson says:

    Maybe the SNP are shit scared of Scottish film-makers? Eh? They cannay handle us, so they try to snuff us out.

    Let me tell you truth.By far the most intelligent person writing about film these days in English is Mar Cousins. Marc is truly gifted.

    And one of the great European producers of our time is Gillian Berrie. What would Gillian do in a normal European film industry? Gillian has great talent, you only have to watch the movies she chooses to make. She might possibly even get a job for all these film-makers Nicola is obsessed about “educating” through a Scottish Film Academy which is morally wrong, because you are charging people a fortune for jobs that don´t exist and can´t exist under the current, utterly precious and pernicious, nationalist regime…

    And then what about Paul Laverty? Paul is one of the best people writing screenplays in Europe today. And completely ignored by the badly educated bigots who pass for SNP culture people. What a frigging joke…

    And you Scot Nat trolls, you bunch of limited, half-baked, narrow minded POLITICAL NUMPTIES…I have intellectual contempt for the way the SNP have been treating film-makers for years now. The British Film Institute – “London rule” – are much more supportive. Maybe we should start extrapolating from that. F´ck yer indie Scotland if utter philistines like Fiona Hyslop are at the helm…

  6. Alf Baird says:

    Without the Scots language (in film and a’thing aside) there can be no authentic Scottish culture – so Ms Hislop is wasting her time without first bringing forward a ‘Scots Language (Scotland) Act’. Here are a few quotes on why the Scots language is so critical in the context of a ‘Scottish’ culture:

    “There is a unique tie between culture and language. The languages we speak provide us with the words and concepts to describe the world around us, allowing us to verbalize certain values easily. Anything we as a cultural group value will surely have a known and easily understandable term. Being a native speaker of our mother tongue brings with it more than just the ability to communicate, it brings with it the ability to understand why someone thinks and acts as they do. (https://www.languageandculture.com/cultures-languages)

    “The Sapir–Whorf hypothesis stated that the way we think and view the world is determined by our language (Anderson & Lightfoot, 2002; Crystal, 1987; Hayes, Ornstein, & Gage, 1987). Culture and language are undeniably intertwined. (http://www.education.com/reference/article/culture-language/)

    “New cognitive research suggests that language profoundly influences the way people see the world” (http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703467304575383131592767868)

    “Language is more than just a means of communication. It influences our culture and even our thought processes.” (http://anthro.palomar.edu/language/language_5.htm)

    “Culture’s greatest impact is on communication, systems and relationships… Culture is more than nationality” (https://www.languageandculture.com/)

    Language “is bound up with culture in complex and multiple ways” (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Language-Culture-Claire-Kramsch/dp/0194372146#reader_0194372146)

    We lose our (Scots) language, we have no Scots culture, nothing. All we have just now is a dominant overbearing (self-imposed?) Anglicised culture masquerading as some sort of authentic Scots. This excuse for a nation desperately needs a Scots Language (Scotland) Act to kickstart an authentic and highly differentiated Scottish cultural revival. And a national strategy for culture must arguably be led by fluent Scots speakers; why kid ourselves otherwise?

    1. Douglas Stuart Wilson says:

      You´re dead right Alf, but it’s all about class, eh? The Scottish working class speak Scots and the Scottish middle class speak Scottish English…hence, the SNP, who are fundamentally a centrist middle class party, will never champion Scots; they pay lip service to it.

      And then there are those areas of Edinburgh where people speak English English…..fair enough if you had a coherent and decent Scots Language policy, I wouldn´t mind that.

      As for the film situation in Scotlandshire, it is beyond description…it is a disgrace, a bad joke and the SNP regime are a bunch of chancers….we are the exiled people, the wanderers and the drifters who have to leave home to make a career. And it has always been that way for Scottish film-makers…the SNP: the Scottish National Philistine Party….they should hang their heads in shame. And I will never vote for them until they change their culture policy. They are even worse than New Labour….

      1. Alf Baird says:

        Aye Douglas, your sketch and other comments just goes to show that Scotland today is still one helluva big tragic comedy (even into an SNP 3rd term), and will continue to be so, as long as our public institutions are allowed to be controlled and exploited by the well orf, preevat schuil, elite uni, rugby/rowing, anglicised ‘proud Scots’ and unionists. A muckle wastit Brigadoon, sleepin for 300+ years an still dozin awa, and the SNP daein zip aboot it.

        Language and land reform are the two key levers for me, from which all else including nationhood would surely follow – and Holyrood has powers over both! And we have SNP Ministers for both our languages and our lands, but their diaries and desks are curiously devoid of anything of substance; a bit like the culture secr an aw.

  7. K. A. Mylchreest says:

    Am aa alaine in thinkin this wee thead has been hijackit by sam airtie primadonna chiels?

    Whit about yer mon, Hamish? Wad he no be weel aboun sic a parcel o ranters?

  8. The Glasgow Clincher says:

    Would love to see this film about one of my heroes. But living in England I doubt the local Showcase or Odeon will allow it a look-in ahead of the Superman blockbusters or Disney-lite movies that predominate. Anyone know where I can get a DVD?

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