From Scotland with Love ★★★★

A fine slice of Caledonian social history from New Zealand-born and Scottish resident director Virginia Heath, who worked with Fife singer-songwriter King Creosote (Kenny Anderson) to knit together a vivid palate of 20th century life and customs in Scotland. This is no shortbread-tin twee glimpse, but rather a summary of ordinary working life and pastimes sourced as much from private home movie collections as from official sources. Anderson's fine, exuberant songs and instrumentals augment the imagery perfectly without becoming obtrusive or delving into cliche or oversentimentality. In a way it's sad to ponder how little of this life and culture still exists today, but that could be said of any post-industrial society. But this film offers a snapshot of a nation working, playing, falling in love, going to war, and stinging its toes in the bracing surf at Largs, and Scotland is all the better for its presence.