Cailleach

****

Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

Cailleach
"Beautifully shot, aided by beautiful country, there's mist and rain, birds on a wire, and real humour too."

The word means 'old lady', but there's more to that - Morag is a character. With her sheep, in a little croft on Harris, born 1927, still alive, still living. She's cheerful, chirpy, tenacious.

In Rosie Reed Hillman's film we get a touching portrait of a person, a place, and her relationship with it. The sheep get a look-in too, distinct enough, if not bright enough to do with a warning that "you can't eat socks". Beautifully shot, aided by beautiful country, there's mist and rain, birds on a wire, and real humour too.

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In Q&A at 2015's Glasgow Short Film Festival, the film's producer Carol Cook revealed that while filming, Rosie had taken up knitting, sitting with needles as the camera rolled. Apparently it had been difficult to stop Morag from leaning in to advise where a stitch had gone wrong, which is amusing enough as an anecdote and a perfect example of Morag's sensibilities. Rosie had apparently intended to make a work about the strong women of the Western Isles, and this is undoubtedly the case. A charming evocation of place and personality, Cailleach is a treat.

Reviewed on: 16 Mar 2015
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Portrait of a crofter.

Director: Rosie Reed Hillman

Year: 2014

Runtime: 14 minutes

Festivals:

EIFF 2014
GSFF 2015

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