16mm to digital, 35 mins, colour and b&w, sound, 2022
‘Both funny and beautiful, which is rare’
Bella Marrin, Fieldnotes Journal
A film about how we are haunted by, and in turn haunt our ancestors, and a family who cannot agree on how to tell their own story.
Family Fugue is a chase in three movements with a white snake, a red Duchess and a golden boy, spanning eight centuries and starting in a cave. It features performances from multiple members of the Ramsay family.
Beginning with the family's origin story of Neish de Ramsay, a 13th century wizard who was said to have cured king Alexander II of Scotland using a potion from a white snake; it continues with Katherine Stewart Murray, Duchess of Atholl, a trailblazing female MP in the early 20th century who fell out of politics because she vocally opposed fascism; and concludes with David Ramsay, a polymath prankster whose life was terminated abruptly during action in World War II, suggesting his death was not final.
Playing with these histories as a score to be interpreted, using documentary, reenactment and lush theatrical tableau, the film allows disagreement, criticism and self doubt to flow in and out.
‘Life is not the wick, nor the candle, it is the burning’
Katherine Stewart Murray
Director & writer George Finlay Ramsay
DOP Alex Hetherington, Luke Fowler
Sound Luke Fowler
Original Score & mix Rudi Zygadlo
Costume & set design Nina Lopez Le Galliard
Creative Producer Annie Crabtree
Executive Producer Adam Ramsay
Lighting Charlie Hope
Underwater footage James Holcombe and Arepo
Captions Collective Text
AC Chloe Charlton
Colourist Jo Barker
Script Doctor Gilbert Ramsay
Performers Mark Thomson, Louise Ramsay, Paul Ramsay, Adam Elyas Franji Ramsay, Sophie Ramsay, Bebe Geen, George Finlay Ramsay
Developing & Scanning Kodak Film Lab London, Digital Orchard, Gauge Film
Funders Creative Scotland & Hope Scott Trust
Special Thanks Rupert Residency, Serlachius Residency, Blair Castle Archive, Bamff Wildland