1931-1940DocumentaryShort FilmUnited KingdomWerner Kissling

Werner Kissling – Eriskay, a poem of remote lives (1935)

Made in 1934 by an amateur ethnographer and aristocratic German diplomat who had abandoned his country to live in Scotland, this is one of the earliest film portraits of the tiny island Eriskay, famous for Whiskey Galore, the Eriskay Love Lilt, the Eriskay fisherman’s jersey, and the fact that Bonnie Prince Charlie first set foot on Scottish soil on this island, when he returned from France to lead the rebellion.

Eriskay sits at the bottom of the long chain of the outer Hebrides, running from Lewis in the North, through Harris, through North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, and nearby Barra…

Kissling filmed the 500 islanders at work, men and women, girls and boys, setting off in their herring smacks, shearing, gathering peats, collecting lichen for dying their tweed, spinning, carding, waulking, and recorded their beautiful working songs…



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