Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinnacle (3 stars)

This article is from 2007.

Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinnacle

(Simon Miller, UK, 2007) 90min

Admirable in intent and ambitious in scope, this first-ever Gaelic language feature is a real achievement. By collaborating with local talent – writers, actors, musicians – from the Isle of Skye where the film was shot, the makers have fulfilled their goal of celebrating Gaelic myth and culture, and highlighting the importance of storytelling in the preservation of it.

Framed by a present day-set story in which a young man named Angus returns home to visit his dying grandfather, Seachd unfolds as a series of tales-within-tales as Angus recalls growing up on the island listening to the old man’s stories. Among them is a fantastical adventure in which a romantic hero attempts the seemingly impossible ascent of the titular mountain in order to pick a fabled crimson snowdrop and save the life of his ailing beloved. This quest is mirrored by Angus’ efforts to discover how his parents died while climbing the same dangerous peak.

In order to capture the breathtakingly vertiginous shots and without the budget to hire a helicopter, director Simon Miller and his crew climbed Sgurr Dearg, one of the Munro peaks in the famous Ciullin range. That they carried their cameras up the mountain twice (once in snow) is testament to their commitment and resourcefulness. Thankfully, it has paid dividends here.

Cameo, 623 8030, 16 Aug, 7.30pm & 19 Aug, 3.15pm, £7.95 (£5.50).

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