THERE IS ONE feature length film in Scottish Gaelic; Seachd and as it stands, perhaps one or two shorts and no artist films. This then; ‘Aisling Sheòrais MhicDhòmhnaill’ or ‘George MacDonald’s Dream’ is a unique film from language contexts alone. Shot on the Isle of Skye with a Creative Scotland/Royal Scottish Academy award in 2015, the film was made as part of an artist residence at the Gaelic college, Sabhal Mor Ostaig. Teaming with cinematographer Anonymous Bosch who MacGillivray had met during the making of British director Andrew Kotting’s films; namely ‘Swandown’ with Iain Sinclair for which she contributed to the soundtrack with Jem Finer (The Pogues) and ‘By Our Sevles’ in which MacGillivray appeared in cameo, singing to Toby Jones and again contributing the soundtrack.
Anonymous Bosch and MacGillivray shot the film on location across a fortnight, taking part in a stag hunt, filming in Clearance village waterfalls and finally working with young piper Crisdean MacDonald in the cave Bonnie Prince Charlie sheltered in while on the run, in what was his last on Skye, at Elgol. The film is based on the Scottish fantasy writer George MacDonald whose writing has now become obscure but who was a major influence on C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Lewis Carroll among others. The themes in ‘Aisling Sheòrais MhicDhòmhnaill’ are further explored in an essay in ‘Scottish Lost Boys’ published by MIT/Strange Attractor, Summer 2019.
MAY 2019 MacGillivray MONK