Television and Film from the Highlands of Scotland

The Winner Loser, Sighthill Stories & The Downhill Racer

All three documentaries were directed by Darren Hercher and produced by Don Coutts.

The Downhill Racer won Darren the Grierson Award and the best documentary at the Celtic Film Festival amongst many accolades. His latest film, as below was screened this spring on BBC Scotland.

The Winner Loser
Directed by Darren Hercher
Produced by Don Coutts

I am not sure how long ago it was that Danny first appeared in our life. But I know that we  met him first at a gallery opening in Inverness one night some years ago.

A friendly looking man, with an incongruous plastic bag full of balls of wool. He smiled. And knitted. Little colourful squares. I later learned these were "friendly squares" which he gave to people as a gesture of friendship. But I even later learned that this wasn't the whole picture and that in fact the act of knitting calms his whirring thoughts enough to be able to keep his very short short-term memory from failing him.

He  became very quickly part of our family life.

He has a book, a falling apart black book (one of thousands it seems) filled with tiny tiny intense writing and numbers. And if, during the course of a conversation, you mention some number or some date he will stop you, take out his book and carefully, ineligibly to us, inscribe your words with tiny urgency. This is especially significant if the words are a birthday.

From then on he may arrive, on your or a family member's birthday, unannounced, unprepossessing, with his plastic bag and a carefully chosen gift.

He is a birthday angel, bearing love and thoughtfulness and whenever he arrives it is important, no matter how pressing your present doings you perceive to be, that you stop, sit and  just be.

He teaches you this, he teaches you that nothing is more important than human interaction. 

He relies for hospitality on his journeys across Scotland on the kindness of strangers and friends that his open-ness has reaped.

He is a unique man with a unique outlook battling a unique set of challenges.

So it seemed right to suggest to Darren Hercher, a profoundly gifted maker of films, that Danny, so openly open about his  diverse life challenges, would be a great subject for his next documentary.

Like his previous films -  the award winning Downhill Racer and Sighthill Stories,
it would be intimate and beautiful and touching, and so it is.