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In 2021, I started a series of films for Repeater Books. Entitled “Their Tells”, they used unseen human voices with static images to bring people’s hidden stories to life.
Whilst I elected to write the majority myself, I wanted to also cede the floor to a voice that would speak in a language other than English, and speak to an experience outside my own. My mum’s autobiographical, lyrical and sometimes painfully nostalgic tale of a transient island life was the ideal foil to my own abstracted, city-bound tales of pessimism.
The full text of her script for “A’ Siubhail Gu h-aotrom” is published here, in Gaelic and English, with an introduction she penned for the broadcast; and stills from the film are reproduced, consisting of digitally altered photos of Skye from the lens of my father’s camera. The only prompt I gave her was a phrase that made its way one way or another into every film - “The impossibility of home”- and the words that follow map that restlessness clearly.
As she reaches her 70th year in 2023, it seemed like the perfect time to bring her ‘tells’ into print - allowing readers to share in the original ethos of the film series of bringing out the best and only version of every self.
Ruaridh Law, Barrmill, North Ayrshire, 06-23
released June 30, 2023