Was there anything so real as words?

This, my latest film, is called Saphir-Whorf.

This film is based upon my time in Aberdeen this November. I was facilitating sessions on mental wellbeing for Aberdeen Council Workers: ‘Safe Spaces and Gentle Places’

My experience is edited.

All my films have a back-drop.

• Our biological and genetic selves are an absolute given. But it is surely a mistake to disembody this understanding from person, narrative and time. Our reality is not completely physical.

• In this film, Gilbert Farie, the hunched pharmacist appears (unexpectedly). Gilbert Farie is my nemesis and he haunted Robert Louis Stevenson. In my writings and films I attempt to consider Gilbert Farie as our ‘Hyde’ (hide). I am not convinced that naming distress through any one word makes sense, or indeed that this reduces stigma.

• Patrick Geddes (symbolised by the three doves) advocated a different approach to education and learning. Geddes argued that specialisms make no sense without a wider view (a wee shift of stance)

• This film includes the farmstead of Gauch, Cabrach. This homestead was cut-in-two to make way for the Baler (technology) just as Arts and Sciences have been divided to make way for progress. Gauch, was home for generations of Peter Gordons. I have been unable to establish any straightforward link between my family and Gauch. I share the view of Ray Tallis that we have become  obsessed in recent times with what he terms neurogenetic determinism. This is not the whole story to life.

• Gregory’s girl. After my elective in Africa I was horribly lost. I had failed to save lives. Dead babies deadened me. No words can express the loss. Sian rescued me. [Gregory’s girl]

This film ends with debate about language and perception.


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