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First ever Gaelic-language documentary Boat Song to be screened at DCA

A still from Boat Song
A still from Boat Song.

Cinema-goers interested in the Gaelic language will have the chance to see a special screening of Boat Song, the first ever feature-length Gaelic documentary at Dundee Contemporary Arts. 

The DCA will host the film’s director, Alastair Cole for a Q&A screening of his stunning film Iorram (Boat Song), on Thursday.

Described as a lyrical portrait of past and present life in the Outer Hebrides, Boat Song is an immersive journey into the heart of a 1000-year-old community, blending archive sound recordings with contemporary visuals, set to an original score by folk musician Aidan O’Rourke.

Outer Hebrides

The film’s archive sounds were recorded by pioneering Scottish ethnographers in the mid-20th century, who visited the Outer Hebrides to capture the hardship and romance of life lived in precarious balance with the sea.

These newly-restored recordings preserve an oral history of lore and legends, tall tales and tragedies, passed down through generations of Gaelic speakers reaching back hundreds of years.

Sounds from the past are accompanied by images of the working rhythm of the islands today, on land and on water.

Boat Song

The tough realities of fishing in all weathers and seasons co-exist alongside superstitions and visions of mermaids, faerie folk and mysterious vanishing islands.

The score weaves together sound and vision in an emotional and cinematic narrative of toil, laughter and loss.  After the screening, the audience can put their questions to Alastair Cole in a live Q&A discussion.

Michael Coull, DCA’s cinema co-oordinator, said: “Having initially been released during lockdown, Iorram was one of last year’s most popular titles on our VOD platform, DCA at Home, so we’re thrilled to be offering audiences this chance to see this wonderful, uniquely Scottish documentary on the big screen, as well as an opportunity to hear from director Alastair Cole. “

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