Prince of Muck

Director Cindy Jansen
2021

In Prince of Muck, retired patriarch, Lawrence MacEwen, is beginning to live out his final days.  As Laird of the Isle of Muck, it has been his mission in life to preserve the fragile society on this Inner Hebridean island, so it may pass to his son, Colin, and future generations.  His Sisyphean efforts seem to have worked… but at what cost to him? 

Directed by Cindy Jansen (Auld Lang Syne, International Film Festival Rotterdam, 2015), Prince of Muck is a beautifully realised, cinematic documentary about a man struggling to accept he no longer controls his son, his life, nor the isle he so loves. 

In Prince of Muck, Dutch Director Jansen brings a cool, seemingly detached ‘outside eye’ to a classic Scottish scenario, as a Laird surveys his Life and Land.  Just as the themes and exact cinematic language in Jansen’s first mid-length documentary film, Auld Lang Syne, reveal complex family ties at play, here too, the carefully constructed narrative gives space to inter-generational tensions, to slow-burn, dramatic effect.  

Prince of Muck starts off as a portrait of an eccentric man, but slowly rises above his family’s history on this particular island, to become a more universal story, a classical rendition of interdependence, a simultaneously transient, yet deep, experience, of a man slowly accepting the eternity that beckons him and, we ultimately recognise, awaits us all. 

Credits

Cast
Lawrence MacEwen and Jenny MacEwen
Colin MacEwen, Ruth MacEwen, Mary Fichtner-Irvine
Oscar, Hugh, Tara, Alex, Magnus
Director of Photography Julian Schwanitz
Sound Bob McDougall and Susanne Helmer
Editors David Arthur and Katharina Wartena   
Sound Design and Composer David McAulay
Re-recording Mixer Bart Jilesen
Colourist and Online Editor Laurent Fluttert
Film Consultants Suzanne van Voorst, Dick Tuinder
Executive Producer Mark Thomas
Producers René Goossens, Annemiek van Gorp, Grant Keir