Skye: The Movie
directed by Jonathan Drury
(Scottish Films, 2004)

Skye: The Movie is a 50-minute DVD depicting the landscapes, seascapes and people of the Hebridean Isle of Skye. Filming began in winter 2003 and culminated in May 2004 -- perfect timing for filmmaker Mahmoud (Jonathan) Drury to include footage of the solar eclipse. It's an enjoyable film, divided into seven segments: Highland Festivals, Animal & Plant Kingdoms, Water World, Island People, Historic Sites, The Land and The Planets. It has an enjoyable and varied soundtrack featuring some great contemporary Scottish artists. I was reminded a little of the BBC documentary A Year on Lindisfarne as I watched this film.

Skye: The Movie does seem to be aimed squarely at the tourist market, and some of its footage (for example, the opening scenes showing pipe bands and Scottish dancers) falls firmly into that bracket. However, there is also much of interest for those who enjoy nature, landscape and wildlife, and anyone who has visited Skye will find this an enjoyable reminder of their visit.

However, this is a wordless, captionless film (the soundtrack is purely music-based), and I found myself wanting to know where many of the locations were filmed -- the scenes around Portree Harbour were easy enough! Some of the film segments work better than others -- especially Water World, Historic Sites and The Land -- for the visual beauty of the island really holds the viewer's interest. I felt the chapter on Island People didn't really allow the viewer to get a full glimpse inside the lives of the islanders -- I found myself wanting to find out much more about them!

However, the landscapes and seascapes are stunning, with beautiful winter views of the Cuillin mountains and some fine footage of the solar eclipse.

The soundtrack is great! It includes music by Blair Douglas, Capercaillie, Donnie Munro, Runrig, Phil Cunningham, Cliar, Gael Warning, John Saich, Mary Anne Kennedy and many more. For a person like me who's crazy about Scottish music, this is all very appealing, and all the song titles are credited at the end of the movie -- in many respects, this film being wordless has advantages, because the film can be played as a music sountrack alone. I particularly enjoyed Blair Douglas' "A Summer in Skye" and John Saich's "Sgoil Chiuil Na Gaidhealtachd." Capercaillie's "Fear A Bhata" and Mary Ann Kennedy's "Seinn Horo Seinn" are used to great effect, too.

This is just the thing to remind you of your visit to Skye!

- Rambles
written by Debbie Koritsas
published 28 August 2004

[ visit the filmmaker's website ]