In our Christmas 2014 exchange of letters, Gill (an old friend from Abergavenny) and I both wrote about films we had seen during the past year. Her chosen film was Hedd Wyn and she has inspired me to search it out to view. The film is based on the life of poet Ellis Evans who was awarded the chair at the National Eisteddfod in 1917. I’m sure Gill won’t mind my quoting her here:
In January we were mindful of the commemoration of the 1914-1918 war beginning and as an alternative we invited friends and the local church groups to a showing of the movie ‘Hedd Wyn’. This is a Welsh film with English sub-titles which portrayed the reality of the war on a small Welsh farming community. We first saw this movie when it was premiered in the Seattle Film Festival in the early 1990s. It was as well received there as it was in our small gathering – a depiction of a Welsh sheep farmer’s son and poet being conscripted to join up and who soon after died at Passchendaele.
This was the first Welsh language film to be nominated for an Academy Award.