Wednesday, 25 June 2008

EIFF: Stone of Destiny - Review by Miriam Ross

Director: Charles Martin Smith
Running Time: 96 mins

Stone of Destiny lays on the patriotism more thickly in its opening scenes than any nationalist party broadcast could possibly manage. Set in 1950, every conversation from the pub to the family dinner table speaks of Scottish independence, the pride of the country, the great nation, freedom and that thing called pride again. Interspersing these conversations and the based-on-true-facts plot, to rescue the stone of destiny from Westminster Abbey, are the ubiquitous shots of the rolling Scottish countryside. In case anyone thought the recent success of the SNP meant that the independence debate was still alive, this film pushes the debate firmly into the twee, tartan nostalgia confines of history. Stone of Destiny will be easily exported abroad to anyone who thinks Scotland is bonny and easily understood but leaves a lot to be desired for anyone seeking a more complex understanding of the events surrounding the stone and its place in Scotland’s past.

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