Molly Dineen Research

Documentary, Home from the Hill which was produced in 1987.

This was a documentary that was created by the film maker Molly Dineen. I like how in the introduction it shows the soldiers as they all meet up in Hyde Park in London. Here, they remember all of the soldiers that were lost abroad. When this recording of the gathering is shown there is audio over it where Molly tells the story of soldier Hillary Hook that was left abroad by the British. He served the millatary in Suddan and then he settled in both India and Africa, where he lived for 30 years.  I like how this story is shown in  audio over the filming of the gathering.

I found the audio of his life reflects the video that record him, I like how he says “sometimes I sit and think”, and in the film frames it shows how Hillary sits and thinks about things on his mind. He explains in the documentary how he has lived all his life abroad and at this point he says how he has got to where he wants to live. In the audio he explains how he has always wanted to live in  a place of safari as he enjoys killing animals. When he is saying this in an audio it shows him in a video that has been edited into the documentary that shows the life that he had in the safari. Before showing this it shows him as he is in his home and the film captures a close up of a leopard that lays on the floor beside him. He explains how the killing of the animals were to feed the people in the bush as they would have to hunt for food. I like how in the documentary it gives you a sense of where he used to live and the past life that he lived, from the use of edited videos from the past, and the audio that is over the videos are telling the story.

It seems that the audio was produced before the video as all of the reflection in the audio is shown in the videos and the documentary pieces of the film.

In the film it shows him coming back to England. This is shown by filming the drive in the car and then with the audio piece that reflects this new life of coming back to England and he explains how it will be hard to adapt. When he gets to his new home it shows a filming piece that documents a woman in the film showing him how to use the heating in his home. He has no clue of doing the simplest of thinks and he now has to adapt to a new way of living. He explains this in the filming as he says how he is used to natives bringing him piles of wood.

Molly also films him as he takes his stuffed tiger and leopard out of the box and he places them in his new home environment. In the documentary it also shows him talking about how he is finding it hard to adapt. The filming of him shows him bringing his inspired African pieces from the safari in to his new home.

I like how the filming documents the change, like Hillary as he is fishing and he is filmed as he sits on the side of a grass bank of a canal with a fishing rod. Then it shows a film piece from Africa as the natives are actually in the water with daggers as they hunt the huge fish. Just from showing this new life and adding the view of the old life it shows you the complete differences these places have compared to each other, and how hard it must really be.

It then takes you back to his previous life he had in England and takes you back to the earlier days as it documents him going back to visit his school of which he had last visited in 1935. He explains the how masculine the men were back then. To show this, Molly uses audio and photographs that connect with the audio. For example, him with all the other students at his school when he was a young boy and then when he mentions the masculine side that men were she shows him as he sits with these masculine men they had to be in the 30’s.

I also love how in the filming Molly actually talks to her subject Hillary as he is having difficulty turning on an oven and she says “you have to learn, how are you going to eat” I feel that this shows that she and her subject are both comfortable around each other.

At the end of the documentary Hillary explains how he is bored and she says “Can I ask you an embarrasing question?” and then she asks, “Are you basically happy?” He answers, “Im basically happy in  your presence, otherwise I represent devine discontent. ” I like this ending as Hillary shows his true feelings from saying this and it makes a creates a really warm atmosphere to end with.

I felt that watching the documentary I was able to notice the audio and how it goes with the film, and it gives me an idea of what I could photograph to go with the audio. Therefore, as I was viewing the film  I began to look at the film as pieces of photographs to reflect each part of the audio.

I feel that it was good to watch this film as his story is very similar to Jean and how he had to adapt to a new living in England, and him and Jean spent similar amounts of time out of England over in a foreign countrie that had a complete different way of living.

From viewing the film it also gave me the idea of the use of photographs and this is something that I am going to consider to show at the exhibition; a photograph of Jean before the becoming of a Rasta and also photographs of the life she had in Jamaica and Africa.

Also the question of what Molly asks Hillary is whether Jean is happy, because everything that she draws is African and Jamaican inspired and it makes me think to whether her thoughts that reflect her drawing are what add to the happiness she feels today as she says she would like to go back to Africa and Jamaica one more time before she closes her eyes.


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