BFS Video // 2008 // 360 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Kent Dixon (Retired) // February 27th, 2010
A journey beyond the myths and the tartan to uncover some truly gripping stories.
Even though I can't recall how I first learned about it, as far back as I can remember, I have been very proud of my Scottish ancestry. Whether it's the lure and majesty of the landscape and ancient ruins, or the uniqueness and strength of the people themselves, Scotland is a truly fascinating country with a rich and colorful history that dates back to the Roman occupation of what is now England, Wales, and the Scottish lowlands. With so much rich history and content to draw from, the team behind Clans of Scotland focused their attention on some of the most well-known and prominent Scottish family names and the stories behind them.
Narrated and hosted by filmmaker Paul Murton, Clans of Scotland takes an in-depth look at the history of Scotland's twelve most powerful and noteworthy clans: MacGregor, MacDonald, MacLeod, Campbell, Fraser, MacKenzie, Armstrong, Cameron, Douglas, Maclean, Stewart and Grant. A Scot himself, Murton infuses the material with a keen focus, enthusiasm and investigative attitude, as he searches for the historical facts that lie behind each of these great clans. For the uninitiated, taken in this context, the term "clan" refers to the large unified groups of Scottish people who were either related by blood, or were under the protection of or had sworn their loyalty to a particular family group and their Chief. For example, although my last name may be different, I am connected to the Keith Clan as a descendant of those who fought and lived alongside the Keiths in the Highlands hundreds of years ago.
Devoting roughly 25 minutes to the history of each of the clans, Clans of Scotland packs a lot of information into three DVDs and around six hours of viewing time. You may think you know a lot about Scotland and Scottish history, but you'll be surprised by just how much you'll learn. Yes, Scotland is about castles on cliffs, fierce warriors and William Wallace, but it's also about culture and a unique form of government that stood apart from British rule and control for hundreds of years. It's ironic that in more modern times, Scottish soldiers were recruited as special commandos by the British, who had been their enemies and oppressors for generations. The feature adds a noticeable level of credibility when historical accounts are not just related by Murton's narration, but are also backed up by the reflections of descendants who add their own personal perspectives to their family history. This is a rich and seemingly complete history that focuses on factors that shaped each clan; while covering a wide variety of topics from military prowess and enemies, to famous individuals, pivotal battles and events.
Clans of Scotland offers a wealth of content delivered in an above-average presentation. With the beauty and majesty of Scotland as its background, the feature delivers a crisp and colorful image with solid contrast and impressive detail for an SD presentation. The audio mix is largely anchored by dialogue, but there is some use of the surround channels when music and atmospheric sounds join in. All in all, you'll likely find the overall sound and video suit the subject matter and content perfectly.
To this day, Scottish culture stands strong as a symbol of how a country can
weather almost any hardship and conflict, based solely on the strength of its
people. Tell them they're guilty...go on, I dare you!
Review content copyright © 2010 Kent Dixon; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: BFS Video
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 360 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated