Vashti Bunyan: From Here to Before
Nostalgic and loving documentary tracing singer Vashti Bunyan's fabled horse-drawn trip across the country at the end of the 1960s.
Director: Kieran Evans
Cast includes: Andrew Loog Oldham, joe Boyd, Vashti Bunyan
Telling the remarkable story of alternative folk heroine Vashti Bunyan who had all but given up on a musical career in the '60s when she set off on a horse and cart from London to the Isle of Skye. When modern artists embrace her forgotten album “Just Another Diamond Day,” Vashti experiences popularity like never before. This documentary profiles her early career and astonishing resurgence 30 years later.
Featuring interviews with the likes of Max Richter, Andrew Loog Oldham, Devendra Barnhart, Joe Boyd and Robert Kirby, this charming film follows Bunyan as she takes a nostalgic road trip and prepares for the biggest concert of her life.
"Kieran filmed From Here To Before in stages over a number of years, but I knew from the first meetings, cups of tea, glasses of wine and long conversations that he would be the right person to tell this story.
Throughout the miles I spent with Kieran, travelling by car and van from London to the Outer Hebrides, we retraced the hoof-falls of Bess the horse, the footsteps of Blue the dog, Robert Lewis and me, re-visiting some of my well-remembered places and songs along the way. This second journey affected me almost as much as the first. It was such a great pleasure for me and I will be forever grateful to Kieran for the way he found to tell the story - of both journeys.” - Vashti Bunyan
For many cult artists, rediscovery comes to them too late, they never live to know that their art has been reappraised, is being loved by generations not even born when they were at work. In the case of Vashti Bunyan, the “Godmother of Freak Folk” (New York Press), 30 years of obscurity ended with the rediscovery in 2000 of her lost classic album “Just Another Diamond Day” and her subsequent reintroduction into a mainstream she was never part of in the first place. The fact that that record was inspired by a very British road trip - an end to end journey across the country by horse and carriage - has only helped mythologize Vashti’s life and career.
Four years in the making the film follows Vashti as she retraces the original journey through the UK that she took with her boyfriend Robert all those years ago set against her return to a major performance at The Barbican. We see her revisit places for the first time in over 30 years sparking fascinating memories
and moving recollections.
Clearly a labour of love from start to finish, the real beauty of the film is that it combines an emotional depth with a strong visual edge to offer up an intimate and revealing portrait of an
artist still clearly revered by so many to this day.
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