It’s a historic year for us Scots, featuring both the independence referendum and the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn when (like their footballers) the English army was sent homeward tae think again. Even more importantly, it’s been two decades since Braveheart hit cinemas. Several of the cast reunited at the Dominion Cinema in Edinburgh yesterday to celebrate the film’s 20th anniversary re-release on Blu-ray.
There are a couple of issues with this. First, Mel Gibson’s kilts-and-killing epic, in which he starred as freedom fighter William Wallace, was actually released in 1995. That’s 19 years ago, not 20. Also, William Wallace didn’t fight at Bannockburn: that was King Robert the Bruce. Wallace had already been hung, drawn and quartered by then. Bannockburn does feature in Braveheart at the end, but the massive fight you remember was Wallace’s triumph at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
Still, Braveheart never let historical accuracy get in the way of a good story, and neither will we. Among the actors walking the tartan carpet (no, really) were Brian Cox, Angus Macfadyen and Peter Mullan, who used the opportunity to express their support for Scottish independence.
Cox said: “Braveheart was just a movie but this referendum is the real deal; it’s about democracy. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Scotland to take its place in the world.”
The trio wore small ‘Yes’ badges to signal their allegiance, but resisted the urge to paint their faces blue or flash their buttocks at King Edward I.