A Hebridian Island

The Island Of St. Kilda
P: British Pathé. UK 1908 (1910?)

St. Kilda, Its People and Birds (extract)
R: Oliver Pike. P: Williamson Kinematograph Company. UK 1908
Print: BFI

“This was the first film to be shot on the Hebridean island of St Kilda, and should not be confused with the later film from 1928 (St. Kilda – Britain’s Loneliest Isle), which is more closely concerned with the population that would later be evacuated from the island forever. This earlier film was by the pioneering bird cinematographer, Oliver Pike, and focuses on the island’s bird population, as well as the St Kildans’ remarkable methods of snaring sea birds for food and gathering eggs from the precarious cliff face. To achieve the spectacular shots of the bird colonies and birds in flight, Pike had to develop his climbing skills, with the aid of the locals, burdened as he was with a heavy film camera.”
Bryony Dixon
BFI Screenonline

“The island group of St Kilda, furthest west of the Hebrides, would be fascinating enough on account of its remoteness, its outstanding scenery and its natural history, but given the drama of its human history and particularly its evacuation in August 1930, it is in a league of its own. St Kilda under human habitation was recorded on film several times. As early as 1908, Oliver Pike made St Kilda: Its People and Birds for the Williamson Kinematograph Company. In 1917 (or possibly earlier), Pathé produced The Island of St Kilda.”
From: ‘Scotland the Movie’ by David Bruce (Polygon 1996)
The Powell & Pressburger Pages