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Big Sheep, The

Margaret Tait
1966
40 mins b/w 16mm

Big Sheep, The

A journey through the Highlands where echoes of the clearances, of 'handed-down memories still affect people.'

"Tourists are carried north, coach-load after coach-load; and here is the countryside they come to see, dotted with sheep continually cropping the grass and whin. Then - after the lamb sales - the lambs are carried south, float after float. Vots, vots, vots but "Why don't you get your sheep to fight for you?" echoes a voice from the past. In the glens stand roofless houses, as well as more ancient (prehistoric) remains, beside the Highland river.PART TWO and the seaboard life of today; the railway line along the very edge of a sandy coast, school sports near the salmon river, crofters' fields where the Cheviot sheep now figure, local buses, electricity, Highland games and the pibroch contest. John N. MacAskill plays the lament for Donald of Laggan. A small burn tumbles endlessly seaward, sometimes quietly, sometimes in spate, and the film searches the same few yards of its length again and again, watching the swirl of water, in the company of the coalman who 'could listen to that sound forever.'"

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