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07/11/2005

Gaelic film to open English Festival

A Gaelic film, ‘Moladh da Bheinn’ (In Praise of Two Mountains), has been chosen to open the prestigious Kendal Mountain Festival on Saturday November 12, 2005.
It will be shown twice more the following weekend in the Festival’s Film Competition section.
Produced by Glasgow-based Pelicula Films Ltd, Moladh da Bheinn was funded by the Gaelic Media Service and premiered on BBC2 Scotland in February of this year under the title, Moladh na Maighdinn.
The title was changed for the film’s subsequent commercial release on DVD.
Moladh da Bheinn, a richly-textured visual, verbal and musical weave, is a tale of two mountains and two poets more than two centuries apart. In the mid 18th century, Duncan Ban MacIntyre composed ‘Moladh Beinn Dobhrain’, a long poem celebrating the flora and fauna – especially deer - of the Argyll mountain he knew intimately as hunter and keeper. The poem – intended to be sung to pipes accompaniment – is recognised as one of the finest nature poems not simply in Gaelic but in any language.
But attitudes to the Highland hills have changed. The hills themselves have changed. Beinn Dorain – as Duncan Ban predicted – has become barer and balder after 250 years of sheep, while the remoteness and soaring cliffs of A’Mhaighdean in Wester Ross make it a particularly prized summit for today’s climbers and ‘Munro baggers’. It’s to A’Mhaighdean that the young Gaelic poet, Domhnall Uilleam Stiùbhart travels in the course of the film to take on both the physical challenges of the mountain and the even more considerable creative challenge involved in writing a contemporary poem in tribute to Duncan Ban’s masterpiece.
At Kendal, Moladh da Bheinn will first be screened as a curtain-raiser to a debate on wilderness conservation chaired by the former Culture Minister, Chris Smith, and with panellists including such environmentalist luminaries as Robert Macfarlane, author of the acclaimed study of the history of mountains and mountaineering, ‘Mountains Of The Mind’, and Dick Balharry, Chairman of the John Muir Trust.
Producer Douglas Eadie said: “It’s quite an honour for Moladh da Bheinn to be showcased at Kendal, which is one of the biggest and most prestigious festivals of its kind in the world. On television, it went out in Scotland only and Kendal means it’s beginning to reach a much wider audience of both mountain lovers and poetry lovers.”
(GB)
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