The Scottish and International Film Industry's Contribution to the Development of Scottish Identity in the Last Part of the Twentieth Century

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The Scottish and International Film Industry's Contribution to the Development of Scottish Identity in the Last Part of the Twentieth Century

When people hear the word 'Scotland' there is, as said by C McArthur (2003:59)'Diverse images and narratives right down to particular words and phrases that immediately come into their head'. These images may it be of tartan, misty landscapes, bagpipes or castles contribute to how Scotland is portrayed and create what is known as a Scottish identity. There is a continuing debate on whether Scottish identity actually exists or is it as argued by H T Roper 1'an Eighteenth Century invention'. By looking at films that have represented Scotland since the early 1930's
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D Bruce explains that these stereotypical images represent Scotland (1996:6). These images have built a picture of Scotland popular with tourists from all over the world.

When looking at films that represent Scottish identity the list is not exhaustive and although the question is with regards to the later half of the Twentieth century there were films made early that also made a contribution. These should be mentioned for example Bonnie Scotland (1935), The Face of Scotland (1938), Whisky Galore (1949) and Brigadoon (1954). In more recent years there are again several films to consider these include Rob Roy (1995), Braveheart (1995) Trainspotting (1996) and Shallow Grave (1994). A review of a few of these films contribution to the development of Scottish Identity follows.

In 1937 The Films of Scotland Committee was set the task of producing a series of films for the 1938 Glasgow Empire Exhibition, by Walter Elliot the then Secretary of State for Scotland. The prime aim of the films was to promote the Scottish Nation. One of these seven* films was The Face of Scotland (1938) The 14 minute black and white documentary set out to ask the question 'What and why is the Scot? (Hardy 1990:44) by showing a brief history of Scotland with clips of Borders landscape, hills and highland scenery. There are views of streets in

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