Sunset Song to be made into film

IT has enchanted three generations of Scots with its depiction of rural life. Now Sunset Song, the first part of Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s Scots Quair trilogy is to be made into a major film by the acclaimed British director Terence Davies.

The Liverpudlian film-maker, whose new film The Deep Blue Sea, opened this weekend, said he had been toiling on an adaptation of the novel for the past ten years, but hopes to begin filming soon.

The novel, which he describes as his “dream project” is set to be filmed in north-east Scotland as well as in Sweden with a budget of £4.5 million, Davies said: “I can’t tell you how much I love Sunset Song, it’s very close to my heart. It’s the one film, more than any other, that I still want to do. I’ve already made the film in my head. It’s my dream project.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The book was written by Leslie Mitchell under the pen-name of Lewis Grassic Gibbon and published in 1932. It featured the heroine Chris Guthrie, who battles through the aftershocks of the First World War and the end of the traditional way of life in the Howe of Mearns, near Stonehaven.

When first published some readers were shocked by its portrayal of rural life, which touched on alcoholism, infanticide and incest.

Davies first discovered the book after watching a six-part series on BBC. He said: “I lived for those Sunday nights, although I’d never heard of Gibbon before then. Then I read the book and I was mesmerised. I’m sure most Scots have read it, but the truth is, very few have ever heard of it in England. Friends of mine say it’s unreadable because of the Scottish dialect. But I told them you have to persevere, the rewards are enormous.”