Venus Peter

Growing up in the Orkneys in the late '40s, young Peter leads a strange and magical life. Christened with sea water, he sometimes fancies he is a boat; his wise-old-fisherman grandfather (McAnally) rails against human greed and burbles on about whales and eternity; his ancient aunt extols the virtues of poetry; and his teacher (Cusack) is heavily into the appreciation of beauty. Not surprisingly, Peter spends much of his time in dreams, usually about his father, who is either dead or (sensibly) a fugitive from this inbred island community, where harsh prejudice, acts of cruelty towards beached whales, and vacuous, whimsical mysticism are the norm. Sellar's first feature looks nice enough, in a picture-postcard sort of way, but its script is so much nonsense: the film dishes up a series of loosely connected, impressionist vignettes that appear to have no narrative rhyme or reason. Someone, somewhere along the line, should have put the brake on the indulgently fanciful poeticism and insisted on rather more plot logic.

Release details

Duration: 94 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ian Sellar
Screenwriter: Ian Sellar, Christopher Rush
Cast: Ray McAnally
David Hayman
Sinead Cusack
Gordon R Strachan
Sam Hayman
Caroline Paterson
Alex McAvoy
Emma Dingwall
Robin McCaffrey
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