Directors Heike Bachelier and Andy Heathcote have created a truly thought-provoking and potentially controversial documentary looking at the Scottish fishing industry and the ideologies of both the fishermen and the animal activists who oppose them.
The Pullars are a family of traditional salmon net fishermen who, as part of their job, often kill other animals and who possess a licence to shoot seals. Animal activist groups doggedly pursue the Pullars in an effort to stop them killing more animals, often leading to heated and sometimes reckless behaviour on both sides.
The film takes great care not take sides in this tense war which is being fought on Scotland’s coastline, simply presenting (often shocking) footage for audiences to make up their own minds. In doing so, Bachelier and Heathcote raise ideas of heritage and tradition, and the price we pay as a society when we either decide to uphold or try to remove these traditions, and what these traditions mean on a large, as well as a personal scale.
Featuring footage of injured animals and animals being killed which some viewers may find upsetting, Of Fish and Foe is ultimately a nuanced and engrossing, if often difficult, watch that sheds light on the complexities involved in the journey between the sea and our plates.
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