Culloden (1964)


A blistering combination of drama and documentary techniques that Peter Watkins practically pioneered. I’m struck by how groundbreaking Watkins approach feels. What an inspired way to present this topic and make it resonate with and be relevant for modern audiences, not just in 1964, but even for those, like me, catching up today. It is incredibly timeless and age-proof.

Culloden is definitely a bone-shaker and the matter-of-fact assembly makes the darkest moments even more disturbing. It is as docu-real as they come. The violence is harsh, immersive and immediate. The blood, smoke and dirt seem even more vivid when rendered in BBC-ready black and white. I love the collage of faces and aural collective of accents. It all feels so authentic. You’ll forget that Watkins didn’t build a time machine and take a camera crew to the actual battle of Culloden.

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