Documentaries

The End of the Game (Trailer)

 

A bizarre journey to Africa with a vegan filmmaker and a big game hunter.

Committed vegan, David Graham Scott, follows old colonial relic Guy Wallace as he prepares to go on his last big game hunt and fulfil his ambition to bag a fearsome cape buffalo. It’s Guy’s last chance to relive his glory days in the African bush and finally lay down his guns.

The oddball relationship of Scott and Wallace is the central drive of the film as the director explores the ethics of big game hunting and even questions his own animal rights stance when lured in by the thrill of the hunt.

The End of the Game has at its core a great character in a great location going on an epic journey to an equally marvellous setting. Guy Wallace lives in a ramshackle caravan on a barren moor in the northern highlands of Scotland. He sits surrounded by memories of the past: a past that includes going patrols with the King’s African Rifles, periods as a mercenary in the turbulent post-colonial phase and as a tracker for big game hunters in Kenya and Tanzania.

Filmmaker David Graham Scott lives near the old eccentric in the Caithness moors. He’s built a solid relationship with the man he often refers to as ‘Sir’ Guy and that will be fully explored within both the badlands of Caithness and the South African bush.

He’s cut from the same mould as Molly Dineen’s central character in Home from the Hill: a man out of time and out of place.

The End of the Game is a POV director led narrative questioning the ethics of game hunting and built around the oddball coupling of a vegan and hunter.

IBOGA NIGHTS

BEST UK DOCUMENTARY 2014 AT OPEN CITY DOCS FEST.
Iboga Nights synopsis
David Graham Scott’s 2004 film DETOX OR DIE documented how with a single dose of iboga he quit his drug addiction, inspiring others to go down the same route. The psychedelic plant root hails from Africa where it has been used in religious ceremonies through countless generations. A burgeoning movement in the west has promoted iboga as a quick fix route to painless withdrawal.
Now David wants to find out how truly effective iboga is. In a Dutch suburb several addicts embark on the long night of psychedelic detox under the watchful eye of an experienced Iboga practitioner. One client collapses and ends up on life-support, the provider is jailed and David starts to question the safety of iboga treatment.
The film culminates with a nerve-wracking iboga session in London where the director himself administers the treatment. How does the filmmaker weigh up the ethics of involving himself so deeply in this controversial detox option and what will be his final resolve on the efficacy of it?

The New Ten Commandments (Chapter One)

This is my contribution to the feature documentary ‘The New Ten Commandments’ and covers The Right to Freedom of Assembly…one of the basic human rights laid out in the 1948 declaration this film celebrated.

We follow Scotland’s self-proclaimed National Standard Bearer, Peter Dow, as he prepares for a very confrontational day of protest. Peter cuts a curious figure with his pseudo military uniform and inflammatory placard declaring his political beliefs. His target this time is the Queen as she opens the Scottish parliament. His mission is to see her kicked out of the country. Peter’s story is very much the archetype of the ‘little man’ versus the might of the establishment.

Just how will this one-man Scottish Republican army fair on the day of the protest? Will he be able to avoid arrest and get his message across to the masses, and more importantly, the Queen?

‘The New Ten Commandments’ is a uniquely Scottish documentary that brings together Oscar, Turner prize and Bafta winners to look at Scotland through the prism of human rights.

Marking the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, filmmakers and artists such as Tilda Swinton, Irvine Welsh and Douglas Gordon each tackle a ‘new commandment’.

Exploring such issues as torture, slavery, or the freedoms of thought and assembly, the resulting film is a powerful, passionate and surprisingly humorous artistic collaboration that gives intimate meaning to human rights in Scotland.

Arcadia 

In ancient Greek mythology Arcadia was an idealised rustic land, a refuge from strife and trouble within a more simplified world of pastoral beauty. The modern day Arcadia we observe within this film is a hunting estate deep within the barren Flow Country of the Northern Highlands. This landscape has changed little for thousands of years but is now under threat from a modern technology which is radically altering these northern flatlands and challenges the very existence of the estate.

The Thrumster Estate will be adversely affected by an intended development of 300-foot wind turbines on a neighbouring strip of land. Their income from falconry and other forms of game hunt will be decimated and the estate could go into serious decline. A very visual and fitting protest is planned however.
Financed by Scottish Documentary Institute and BBC Scotland (Banned by BBC)

The Dirty Digger

I join a controversial Glasgow magazine, The Digger, as it’s court photographer naming and shaming gangsters, petty criminals and paedophiles. The ethics of the paper and the role of vigilante journalism are questioned in this gritty documentary.                         Broadcast BBC1 Scotland 20/2/07

 

Detox Or Die

Detox or Die provides an in-depth portrait of a small-time drug addict seeking redemption. Addicted to opiates for almost 20 years, film-maker David Graham Scott decides to opt for a quick fix. The radical detox agent ibogaine puts the user into a gut-wrenching hallucinatory state for 36 hours, from which he emerges cleansed of his addiction. But several fatalities have been reported in connection with the unlicensed drug, and Scott must weigh up the options before embarking on the trip of a lifetime. Broadcast as part of BBC1’s ONE life strand.

Little Criminals

 

Synopsis: “Little Criminals” is a feature biopic by film-maker David Graham Scott about the Glasgow junk scene. Shooting over much of 1999, Scott follows a disparate group of heroin-addicted shoplifters and creates a vivid insight into this strange and sordid subculture. The scams to finance their addictions and the sheer monotony of the injecting rituals are unflinchingly portrayed throughout the film. A father-and-son shoplifting team have to be evermore resourceful in their search for new pickings; an educated Chinese man struggles with his escalating habit and his work commitments; two brothers use heroin to stabilise their mental health problems; and the idiosyncratic DL, recently released from prison, dices with death with his first big hit in months.

How will they all fare with the dawning of the new millennium and how does the experience affect the once-addicted film-maker?

 

 Hanging with Frank

In the autumn of 1995 Frank McKue returned to his old haunt, the execution chamber of Barlinnie Prison, before its demolition. This award winning documentary takes us on a dark journey into the world of capital punishment without making judgments.

Shot entirely on 16mm black & white film stock using an Arri16BL and Bolex cameras. Edited entirely on a Steenbeck flatbed film editing suite at Glasgow Film and Video Workshop 1996-7. Sound dubbing at BBC Scotland studio in Queen Margaret Drive, Glasgow.

Best Doc Award Reel to Real Festival 1998. Selected for Edinburgh Film Festival 1998.
Tx. Channel 5 2001/ BBC Schools 2005.
Most Watched film on Shooting People filmmakers network. Selected for 4Docs website.

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