Kino Eye: A really bad film

Submitted by AWL on 15 June, 2021 - 4:14 Author: John Cunningham

For a change, a really bad film: Mel Gibson’s Braveheart (1995). Usually, I only recommend films that I like and are interesting. Dale Street’s article on a possible second Scottish Referendum prompted me to think of films featuring Scottish nationalism.

The one film that outshines all the others, but primarily because of its ignorance and stupidity, is Mel Gibson’s Braveheart. Take the well-known poster of William Wallace (played by Gibson) with blue face-paint and kilt. Scottish warriors stopped wearing blue face-paint many hundred years before and hadn’t yet adopted the kilt.

The English king Edward I (“Longshanks”) is a brute and his son (later Edward II) is effete and flounces around in silks. The English are the repository of all evil, and the Scots are the good guys. That Wallace once flayed one of his English captives and wore his skin around him as a cloak is conveniently ignored. Wallace has an affair with Isabella, the French wife of Edward II. In fact, she was only ten and living in France when Wallace was executed.

Yet Braveheart, with its noxious blend of populism and nationalism, has been adopted by various brands of Scottish nationalism including, when Alex Salmond was leader, the Scottish National Party.

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