Bones Of Contention

Bones Of Contention


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

In March 2004, the small Scotttish island of Coll hit the newspapers when a dead whale washed up on the beach and the jawbones were found to have "disappeared" once it was taken away to the mainland to be part of a museum collection. Amid a flurry of controversy, they were later found to have been abducted by the islanders and on All Fool's Day the museum came to collect them.

This documentary talks to the locals about their perception of the incidents surrounding the whale and many of the islanders express anger that they weren't allowed to retain the bones. One of them says that it's "going to be talked about for 50 years or more." On the strength of this film, I rather hope not.

It is difficult for those who don't live on Coll to get to grips with why the bones were felt to be of such great import and it is a shame the film doesn't offer much insight. I couldn't help feeling that perhaps director Ewan McNicol was a little too close to the subject to be able to offer enough elucidation.

Not a bad idea - the initial scenes of a whale being blown up are certainly quirky - but the execution is lacking.

Reviewed on: 03 Oct 2004
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Documentary about the scandal surrounding whale bones on the Island of Coll.

Director: Ewan McNicol

Year: 2004

Runtime: 17 minutes

Country: UK


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