John Berger here collaborates with Neat to bring one of his own short stories to the screen, also appearing as the mysterious story teller. A handful of men and women await the plane for Glasgow on the Hebridean island of Barra: visitors, a girl (Swinton) setting off for a job on the mainland, locals who have charge of the airport, and in their midst, Berger. Jaunty, vibrant and expansive, he makes a mesmerising storyteller; and his tale, on the face of it a simple yarn of a peasant (Brumo) on a weekend trip to Venice, becomes a complex exploration of people and places, factories and farms, sex, politics, music...ways of being. The film quite naturally takes on myriad textures: colour and black-and-white, 35mm and blown-up 16mm footage, and for the story-within-the-story, still photographs by the exemplary Jean Mohr. Berger and Neat have discovered that there is a useful application for post-modernism after all, the better to tell a tale.
Cast and crew
John Berger, Timothy Neat