“There’s nothing awfully special about Scotland” claims Scottish director


THE director who wrote award winning film, Gregory’s Girl believes “there’s nothing awfully special” about Scotland.

Writer and director, Bill Forsyth, 69, was responsible for 1981 coming-of-age hit, Gregory’s Girl and 1983’s, Local Hero.

The Glaswegian said that although many of his films are set in Scotland and have helped to forge the character of the nation he “wasn’t flying the flag for Scotland”.

In the Big Issue, he said: “I wasn’t trying to say something culturally about Scotland – I don’t know what Scotland means to the guy next to me on the bus.


“It’s too dumb an idea to want to nail.

“A culture comes from making stuff, and the accumulation of that stuff finally reflects a culture.

“Scotland’s always been one of these little countries that had an identity problem It’s either had an inferiority complex, or the opposite.

“It’s just a little schizophrenic nation like most little nations seeking an identity.

“There’s nothing awfully special about it. There’s history, but every place on earth has its history.”

Forsyth also revealed it’s unlikely he will be directing any more films.

He added: “I don’t know how people could get away with making the films I made anymore. It’s so codified now – you need this kind of character, you need that kind of arc.”

Gregory’s Girl was set in and around a state secondary school in the Abronhill district of Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire.

It was ranked number 30 in the British Film Institute’s list of the top 100 British films.

The movie starred John Gordon Sinclair, Dee Hepburn and Clare Grogan and gained Forsyth a BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay and a London Critics Circle Film Award for Special Achievement.

Local Hero was sent in the fictional village of Ferness on the west coast of Scotland and is about an American oil company rep who is sent to to purchase the town and surrounding property for his company.

In 1984 it won four awards including a BAFTA for Best Direction and a New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay.