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Devil's Plantation - Elemental Films

The superficial inducement, the exotic, the picturesque has an effect only on the foreigner. To portray a city, a native must have other, deeper motives - motives of one who travels into the past instead of into the distance. A native's book about his city will always be related to memories; the writer has not spent his childhood there in vain.

Walter Benjamin


Discover The Devil’s Plantation

When I first picked up Harry Bell’s The Secret Geometry of Glasgow I was captured by it. So when I won the Scottish Arts Council’s Creative Scotland Award to make a website about my native city, his book became my motherlode, together with the casenotes of Mary Ross, an ex-patient of Leverndale Psychiatric Hospital.

The Devil’s Plantation is many things. A long walk – a dérive. It’s a compelling riddle wrapped in 66 films. It’s a search for the soul of Glasgow and for the magic in ordinary places.

Once upon a time that original website won a Best Interactive BAFTA. Time moved on; The Devil’s Plantation became an acclaimed iOS app and now it’s a feature film narrated by the wonderful Kate Dickie and Gary Lewis.

Travel hopefully,
May Miles Thomas



...a serious work of art, and arguably as seminal a portrait of Glasgow as the novel, The Dear Green Place, the film, Red Road, or Joseph McKenzie's photographic collection, Gorbals Children. The films are hypnotic. Shot in black and white, the camera contemplative and compassionate, they reveal Glasgow and the surrounding countryside in a new way – beautiful, sinister, languorous, weirdly empty.

Scotland on Sunday

...lingering, atmospheric, beautifully made, easily comparable to Patrick Keiller’s psychogeographical films of London.

The Scotsman


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