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Return to the Edge of the World

UK, 1978 (MIFF 1992, Retrospectives)

Director: Michael Powell, Frixos Constantine

In 1978, Frixos Constantine helped Powell revisit Foula with members of the original cast and crew for material to accompany a BBC presentation of the film. In Return To The Edge Of The World Powell and leading actor John Laurie are re-united with the places and people they had visited 40 years prior.

However, the colour 'book-ends' are more than a mere exercise in nostalgia. The return poignantly emphasizes the very themes of the original film. Only six of the island's original inhabitants remain, their existence as threat­ened by economic deprivation and hardship (electricity had not come to the island as late as 1978) as it was 40 years ago. The island — remote, forbidding and mystical — is captured in dizzying aerial sequences. Although it took Powell only 20 minutes to arrive by plane on this occasion, we are not allowed to forget that it once took six hours by boat. This island, viewed from the comfort of a cinema seat, is as close to the edge of the world as one might ever hope to venture.

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