Land Makar, 1981, Margaret Tait (Foto: LUX)

Margaret Tait 3: Resonant Landscapes

Caora Mor: The Big Sheep 1966, 16mm, bw, 41 min
Land Makar 1981, 16mm, bw and color, 32 min
The Drift Back 1956, 16mm, bw, 10 min
 
Tait's cinema is not one of a recluse, quite the opposite: its independence is reflected in her choice of subjects often related to memory and the forgotten inscribed in the land. In Caora Mor: The Big Sheep, she delivers a severe critique of tourism and its glossing over the history of oppression in Scottish landscapes marked by the Highland Clearances, a series of brutal evictions brought along by the introduction of capitalism. Land Makar follows the daily work of her farmer neighbour, Mary Graham Sinclair, a crofter and, in Tait's view, a fellow poet (Makar is Scots for poet). By filming Sinclair over a number of years, Tait delivers a moving dedication to work and the passing of time, just like in The Drift Back, a film recording one family's return to Orkney. (I.M.)

Introduced by Gareth Evans