WALES: LAND OF SONG
Video produced by Monty and Marsha Brown. Reviewed by Bob Roser
When I first received my review copy of this video I must admit that I was highly skeptical. I thought it would be another amateur production by a vacationing couple. I was most pleasantly surprised after my first screening.
Monty Brown hails originally from Doncaster in England and was raised in western Canada. He was a professional actor in England and then worked in BBC television. Wales: Land of Song is not his first video and apparently will not be his last either. Marsha was born and raised in upstate New York in the Remsen area, well known for its large Welsh population. They have produced six other travel videos and are both song writers, two of which were used in “Steel Magnolias”.
But this video is different from the usual travel video. It is personalized, visiting relatives in Wales and also shows much of Wales’ most beautiful scenery in the course of 80 minutes. They visit with Sian James, one of Wales’ outstanding song writers and singers as she rehearses with the folk group Parti Cu Lloi prior to their trip to perform at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in 2009. I interviewed Sian and some members of the group prior to their arrival as well as meeting up with them in Washington and wrote an article for Ninnau about them. So, I had one of those “Hey, I know these people” moments.
North, Central, and South Wales are each visited. As the website says “We carried a camera from St. David’s to Denbigh, from Anglesey to Caldicot and this is the result.” There are many visits to specific places rather than just travelogue. Annie Ellis’ farm in mid Wales with close and personal meetings with her sheep and dogs; a visit to Groggs in Pontypridd famous for their Welsh sports and celebrity ceramic figures; castles; a male voice choir; Sian James; Welsh B&Bs; just to name a few of the highlights.
This video would make the perfect program for any Welsh Society. Our Welsh society in Fredericksburg, VA will be showing it at our next meeting. The quality, the positive view of Wales, and the length of the program make it ideal. With Christmas coming up this would also be an excellent gift.
Wales: Land of Song is available from a number of distributers. Monty and Marsha’s website is www.montyandmarsha.com. Cost is $20.00 plus postage.
The only thing not realistic about the program is the unusual number of days of sunshine. But then I’m sure the Lord wanted Monty and Marsha to make this film.