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I Remember, I Remember (clip 2)

Documentary legend John Grierson introduces clips from 'Heart of Scotland' and 'Drifters'

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A personal account John Grierson of a life spent in documentary film-making, including his early life in Stirling and Glasgow. This film which takes the form of a masterclass which was first screened at the 1968 Edinburgh Film Festival to mark John Grierson's 70th year and celebrate his contribution to the development of the Scottish film and TV industry. In this clip Grierson introduces clips 'Heart of Scotland' and his pioneering first film from 1929, 'Drifters' about the Scottish fishing industry. Go to clip 3 of this film.

Questions & Activities


  • How does Grierson make the fishermen look splendid?
  • Can you work out what the fisherman in the hat is saying?
  • Which scavenging animals can you see during the fishing trip shown in the second film clip?
  • How many shifts of mood can you notice in the first film clip and how is this signalled?
  • What changes could you make to the sound with modern equipment to give the film a more realistic feel?


English: The style of filming in both the films featured here is poetic rather than illustrative. Show the clip from 'Drifters' in its entirety, then reshow it and freeze the frame or export stills to act as prompts to write a poem about a fishing trip.

Rivers and Coasts: Research traditional fishing techniques and compare these to the technology of modern trawlers. You might also want to compare the depiction of fishermen here and those in modern trawler documentaries.

Geography / Rivers and Coasts: Invent new ways to farm or catch fish that would not deplete the oceans or destroy the ocean beds.

Media Studies: Research Grierson's life and political beliefs. Imagine how he would have pitched an application for funds.

English / Creative Writing: Write a story or report about sea creatures attacking humans.

Art and Design: Invent a fashion line inspired by the fishing industry.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-279-C
Resource Rights Holder Drifters courtesy of the British Film Institute; Heart of Scotland - National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 2232
Date 1968
Genre Documentary, Tv Doc
School Subject Geography, Media Studies, English, Art and Design
Subject Matter Rivers and Coasts, Creative Writing
Who Films of Scotland (sponsor), James Sutherland (director), John Grierson (writer), Scottish Television (production company)
Where At Sea
Event Edinburgh Film Festival, Seafaring
Attributes Black and White, Colour, Sound
Clip Length 6:55
Film Length 53:08