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Last week we attended the opening gala of the 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival, which kicked off proceedings with a screening of new Scottish golfing drama Tommy's Honour.
As well as speaking to the film's director Jason Connery and stars Jack Lowden and Peter Mullan (which you can see in the video above) we also asked Scottish teacher Stephanie Whyte of Banff Academy, Aberdeenshire to write a review of the film, with a particular eye on how the film might be useful for other teachers in Scotland.
It was a great honour to be invited to attend the opening night of the Edinburgh International Film Festival to see Tommy's Honour. Filmed in Scotland with a mostly Scottish cast and crew, this film documents the story of golfers Tommy Morris Junior and Tommy Morris Senior, played by Jack Lowden and Peter Mullan respectively.
It tells the story of the father and son's turbulent relationship, as well as tackling the prejudice surrounding the issue of the lower classes competing in golf. Morris junior still holds the record for being the youngest ever winner of an Open championship and both men have been inducted in the Golf Hall of Fame. Lowden has been quoted in interviews commenting that a film being made about golf is unusual, and that's why he wanted to take part in it.
Although there is admittedly a lot of golf in the film, there are also secondary storylines, such as the influence of the Church in everyday life, and the story of Tommy meeting his wife Meg, played by Ophelia Lovibond. As a result, it is not essential to have a passion for golf to enjoy the film. There are also some brilliant one-liners delivered throughout that provide some light humour in amongst some quite emotional moments.
Director Jason Connery demonstrates some wonderful cinematography, including fantastic, sweeping panoramic views of St. Andrews to open and close the film. As a class teacher who is currently teaching a unit on Scotland in Film, Tommy's Honour will be a fantastic film to use in class, promoting as it does the fantastic locations, talent and stories that Scotland has to offer. Since teaching this unit it is impossible to watch a film without thinking about shot types, or discussions of use of colour and sound, and Tommy's Honour provides lots of opportunities for this.
Let's hope this film and the many other Scottish films that are being showcased at the EIFF help put Scotland on the map for being a viable setting for more filmmaking and inspire more young people to get involved in the growing Scottish Film Industry.
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