film
A Stone
2019
1/X

In a remote village in the Scottish Highlands a monument is erected. Three older men roll a heavy stone along a windswept winterly coastline. One of them digs a hole and places the stone. A group gathers to pay tribute and a bagpiper plays. A war memorial looms over the village. Seabirds circle in the sky. The monument turns out to be a monument to the Unknown Artist. Placed in a location far away from the next big city and only reachable on foot, the monument creates a place for contemplating the meaning of artists and their role in society. Monuments for unknown soldiers come to mind. The slow narration of the film, with its focus on the physical struggle of transporting a heavy stone, the digging of a hole, and the forces of nature, mirrors the toilsome process of any creative work developing from idea to completion. The solemnity of the final ceremony, which fluctuates between a celebration and a funeral, culminates in the bagpiper’s melody. When the music is over, a sense of wonder remains, residing in the connection of stones and memory, honor and death, and work and reward.