Understated, beautiful early Powell.
- The Edge of the World review by Steve Mason
The Edge of the World is about the evacuation of a Shetland Island, which has become too isolated to be inhabitable. The story was based on the evacuation of St Kilda, but Powell's film was made on Fouda.
The shoot for the film was arduous, being in such a remote place, and before air travel there was feasible. The cast and crew had to spend most of a year living on the island because it was so difficult to commute. This story is told in Powell's seventies documentary, Return to the Edge of the World.
It reminds me of the extremes Werner Herzog went to in his seventies and eighties films to capture something difficult and elusive. I wouldn't recommend it as the most entertaining of Powell's films. But it is very stark and beautiful, and probably unique. Certainly a must see for those interested in the brilliant Powell, and the history of the islands. Not so much for others
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Beautiful Piece of Social History
- The Edge of the World review by Rolling Ronnie
A beautifully directed and acted film. The simple story perfectly encapsulates the dilemma faced by small island communities between the first and second world wars. Facing poor harvests, the migration of its younger people, and the lack of efficient transport and communications with the mainland, those left on the island have to come to terms with the fact that their way of life is no longer viable. Michael Powell throws into the mix tragedy, melodrama and soundtrack that is both haunting and uplifting, and with it creates a thing of beauty.
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