Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media


Multicultural Glasgow: Imagining Scotland as a Space of Cultural Intersection in
Scots-Asian Films of the 2000s

Emily Torricelli


Abstract: In films, even contemporary ones posing alternatives to the mythic representations of Scotland, Scottish identity is often constructed as homogeneous and white. Though a small number of films have been made addressing Scotland’s white minority groups, it is not until the 2000s that filmmakers such as Ken Loach and Pratibha Parmar began to explore non-white Scottish identities. This article explores the ways the former’s Ae Fond Kiss… (2004) and the latter’s Nina’s Heavenly Delights (2006) construct hybrid, plural Scottish identities by first considering the way the two films construct these identities, and then by considering the how the identities constructed were received by film critics. Ae Fond Kiss… suggests that racial and ethnic minorities understand “Scottishness” in varied ways that are often influenced by gender, whereas, for Nina’s Heavenly Delights, race, gender, and sexuality are some of the many identities that are united in the Scottish nation. In support of the plural and hybrid Scotlands these two films construct, film critics, despite the complications of genre, strongly label both as Scottish films, which suggests they understand Scotland as a diverse or hybrid place or culture.

Back to article