Bill Douglas Trilogy
From the British Film Institute (Dual Format Edition)
Starring: Stephen Archibald, Hughie Restorick, Paul Kermack, Jean Taylor-Smith, Bernard McKenna
Year: 1972-1978 | Black and White | Running time: 175 mins | Optional hard of hearing subtitles
3 discs including both DVD and Blu-ray editions
The award-winning and critically acclaimed films by Bill Douglas: My Childhood, My Ain Folk and My Way Home are three of the most compelling films about childhood ever made.
The narrative is largely autobiographical, following Jamie (played with heart-breaking conviction by Stephen Archibald) as he grows up in a poverty-stricken mining village in post-war Scotland. In these brutal surroundings, and subject to hardship and rejection, Jamie learns to fend for himself. We see him grow from child to adolescent; angry and bewildered, yet
playful, creative and affectionate.
In My Childhood (1972), eight-year old Jamie lives with his granny and elder brother in a Scottish mining village in 1945. With an absent father and a mother in a mental home, he is subject to the hardships of poverty.
In My Ain Folk (1973), Jamie is sent to live with his paternal grandmother and uncle; a life full of silence and rejection.
My Way Home (1978) sees Jamieís ultimate victory over his circumstances; after a spell in foster care, and a homeless shelter, he is conscripted into the RAF, where he embarks
on a redemptive friendship with pal Robert, which allows him to emerge from his adolescence and pursue his artistic ambition.
Despite the sometimes bleak subject matter, watching the trilogy is far from a depressing experience. This is cinematic poetry: Douglas contracted his subject matter to the barest essentials; dialogue is kept to a minimum, and fields, slag heaps and cobbled streets are shot in bleak monochrome. Yet with its unexpected humour and warmth, the trilogy brims with clear-eyed humanity, and affection for an ultimately triumphant young boy.
Bill Douglas: Intent on Getting the Image (2006, 63 mins), a new documentary about Bill Douglasís life and work. (DVD only)
Come Dancing (1970, 15 mins) Remarkable, rarely-seen student short. (DVD only)
Rare archive interview with Bill Douglas (4 mins) (DVD only)
Illustrated booklet containing newly commissioned essays, notes and credits
£15 With Free UK Postage.