darmok47 (darmok47) wrote,

Local Hero's a great film, goodness knows, but they shouldn't all be like that.

Saw the film Ae Fond Kiss... and really enjoyed it.  It's about the romance between a Pakistani Muslim man and an Irish Catholic woman, in Glasgow.  The subject of inter-faith relationships is really interesting to me, as is the subject of the different cultures and sub-cultures in Scottish cities.

Another thing that I really liked about it is that the Scottish setting is taken pretty much for granted: it's a setting where you would find Pakistani Muslim and Irish Catholic communities, with the latter seeming a lot more naturalised into the setting (although, as mentioned in the commentary, there is a subtext that Irish immigrants were once viewed by the locals with as much hostility as immigrants from further afield.  This isn't mentioned in the film, though).

Anyway, my point is, the film doesn't appear to be making a statement about Scottish identity.  This is very welcome!  There are no clueless English or American characters (possibly surrogates for the audience) who need to have their preconceptions of Scotland challenged by the other characters.  As many of you will be able to tell from the title of the film, the poet Robert Burns is mentioned a few times, but in the context of being a man of the people who had relationships with women which the church disapproved of.  No-one talks about him being a national poet.

This is the type of film that Scotland should be making (this and "Gregory's Girl"), because otherwise, Scottish films will be not much more than a novelty.

For audiences who don't know how to pronounce "Ae" or what it means, it has also been released as "Just a Kiss", which has got to be the blandest title ever and doesn't carry nearly the same connotations of doomed romance (the words also sound far less poetic).  The J in "Just" is an Islamic crescent and star, and the K is the right half of a Union flag.  There are a lot of things wrong with the latter choice of iconography (which I will post in a comment if people want to know)
Tags: films

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