Shetland Arts is presenting a free public screening of The Wicker Tree at the Garrison Theatre on Wednesday at 7.30pm. There will also be a short introduction to the film and the work of its director, Robin Hardy.
The Wicker Tree is a film adaptation of Robin Hardy’s 2006 novel, Cowboys for Christ, and contains similar elements to his 1973 film The Wicker Man, but it is neither a sequel nor a remake of that film.
The film focuses on Texas pop star turned gospel singer Beth (Brittania Nicol) and her boyfriend Steve (Henry Garrett), both devout evangelical Christians sent on a mission to spread the word of God to the people of Scotland. Beth and Steve decide to begin their preaching at the May Day celebrations in the village. In an attempt to impress the locals, they agree to becoming the local Queen of the May and the Laddie for the festival, not realising the consequences of their decision and what awaits them.
Robin Hardy began his directorial career in Canada and the US, where he was mainly involved in making television drama. In the 1960s he returned to London and became involved in making commercials and informational films for the company Hardy Shaffer Ferguson Avery, which Hardy formed with writer Anthony Shaffer.
As a result of this partnership, the two men were involved in the creation and production of Hardy’s feature debut, the pagan horror masterpiece The Wicker Man. Although now considered a classic (at the time, its star Christopher Lee regarded it as his finest work), the film suffered after its producers made extensive cuts. Thanks partly to the subsequent disappearance of the original negative, it took nearly 30 years for the full-length version to be released in Britain.
Lisa Ward, marketing officer at Shetland Arts, said: “This is a unique opportunity to see a new film by celebrated director and writer Robin Hardy. I expect there will be a lot of interest in the screening.”
The film is for those aged 15 and over.