Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Imagining Scotland: Local Hero (1983) and Kailyardism

Beatriz Oria Gómez


The aim of this article is to reflect on how cinematic representations of Scotland shape our image of the country. Far from offering realistic portrayals of the Scottish identity, most films depicting Scotland today still dwell on the clichés and stereotypes traditionally associated with this nation, thus perpetuating its dreamlike image and immersing the country in a stasis which prevents it from active participation in the historical present. In the present article, I will focus on one particular trend of representation, the Kailyard tradition, paying attention to its use in the film Local Hero (Bill Forsyth, 1983) as marker of a distinctive Celtic identity. The analysis will show how the apparent subversion of stereotypes and ‘militant’ attitude that some critics have identified in the film actually hide, once again, a reinforcement of traditional representations of the nation whose main target is commercial success.

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