Cornwall needs to be Proclaimed

23 Oct

This week I went to see the film “Sunshine on Leith”, an everyday story of Scottish Folk. It follows the trials and tribulations of a pretty ordinary family living in the “suburbs” of Edinburgh. It deals with some gritty subjects such as marital infidelity, life changing injury from IEDs, humiliation in public, heart attacks etc, but it does it in a totally unexpected way.

The film genre is what one might call Mac Bollywood. You may have seen these Indian epics where a whole street full of ladies in sari’s suddenly open umbrellas and break into an massive and complex dance routine, well imagine that outside the National Gallery of Scotland. Not only that, each time the plot has a twist, the characters break into song – always a song by the Proclaimers, hence the title of the film. The effect is unusual to say the least.

The most telling thing for me was the National pride of Scotland that showed through the film, not the chocolate box Scotland of Stags on moorland or Bagpipers in the mist, but the “in your face Jimmy” attitude of love of your fellows, whether in the Army, down the pub, at work or where ever.

The best example of this was when one of the girls in the story (who was the only English person), challenged her boyfriend as to what he would do if she decided to go home to her parents. He said “What go to England!!?? – No Way!” (He had just come back from Afghanistan so travel was nothing new to him!). The idea that “we are different and proud of it” shone through like a searchlight.

When the credits rolled it turned out that the film had been part funded by the Scottish Tourist Board. So here is the challenge – can we find a Cornish band with a big enough back catalogue to cover all the scenarios in a drama? Can we find enough talent in Cornwall to act and produce it? More to the point can we find enough money to make it? Do we have the heart to underline our own cultural destiny in some more modern way than King Arthur and Tin Mining?
Where is the pride in being Cornish? Let us feel it and show it to the world.

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