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Iorram - Le Chant à Ramer

Documentary 1h 36m 2021

Premier documentaire cinématographique entièrement en gaélique écossais, Iorram est un portrait immersif de la communauté de pêcheurs des Hébrides extérieures, tandis que les îles et leur langue font face à un avenir incertain. Ce film unique est composé d’enregistrements sonores d’archives rares, tissés avec des images contemporaines filmées pendant trois ans par le réalisateur Alastair Cole. Voix, histoires et chansons du milieu du 20ème siècle interagissent avec des séquences d’observation de la vie quotidienne dans les îles aujourd’hui, créant un dialogue poétique entre le passé et le présent et entre le son et la vision, sur une musique folk originale composée et interprétée par le musicien primé Aidan O’Rourke.

The first-ever theatrical documentary entirely in Scottish Gaelic, Iorram (Boat Song) is a lyrical portrait of the fishing community in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. Director Alastair Cole takes the audience on an immersive journey into the heart and soul of a 1000-year-old community, blending archive sound recordings of voices from the past with visuals of island life today and an original score by acclaimed folk musician Aidan O’Rourke. At the core of the film is an extraordinary trove of sound archive, recorded by pioneering Scottish ethnographers in the mid-20th century, who visited the Outer Hebrides to capture the hardship and romance of life lived in precarious balance with the sea. These newly restored recordings preserve an oral history of lore and legends, tall tales and tragedies, passed down through generations of Gaelic speakers. This soundtrack of voices, stories and songs from the past is accompanied by contemporary footage of the daily working rhythm of the islands, on land and on water, shot over the past three years. The tough realities of fishing and gutting in all weathers and seasons co-exist alongside superstitions and visions of mermaids, faerie folk and mysterious vanishing islands. The first film score by Aidan O’Rourke (of multi-award-winning folk group Lau) weaves together sound and vision in an emotional and cinematic narrative of toil, laughter and loss. The sea has always sustained this community, while also holding the power to ravage the lives of the families who rely upon it. The film offers whispers and shadows of people and tragic events long since gone, yet whose memory continues to shape life on the islands today. As Scotland and the UK enter a new future, this provides a reminder that the threads of history and identity at this furthest edge of the British Isles are woven, unmistakably, in the lyrical power of the Gaelic language.


Alastair Cole


Alastair Cole


Adam Dawtrey

Film Editor

Colin Monie


Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic


English, French


United Kingdom


Bofa Productions Limited