Over 500 Scots fought in the Spanish Civil War which devastated Spain 70 years ago; emotions and memories of this extraordinary conflict are still alive and poignant. In this two-part documentary series narrated by actor David Hayman, The Scots Who Fought Franco remembers this major conflict through unseen, unique archive interviews with Scots who joined the International Brigade, or Brigaders as they are known.
Episode One: 9pm, Thursday 13 August on STV
Episode Two: 9pm, Thursday 20 August on STV
In addition, the series takes archivist Daniel Gray to revisit some of the major battelfields where these men's friends and colleagues still lie buried. Daniel's book Homage to Caledonia reveals how gripped the Scottish public were by the war in Spain and why so many were moved to join the conflict. He takes the opportunity to get the Spanish perspective on this shocking chapter in the country's history. Only now, more than 30 years after Franco died, are the Spanish beginning to talk freely about this dark period in the country' history.
Scotland contributed proportionately more to the Republican cause than any other country in the world. At the core of this unique story is a rich seam of invaluable testimony: a previously unseen treasure trove of extraordinary interviews with several Scottish veterans of the Civil War who risked their lives to go to Spain and fight Fascism. Filmed in the early '90s, these interviews have never been broadcast. Their stories are personal, moving and inspiring. They are made all the more poignant by the fact that today none of these men remain alive.
Award winning director Don Coutts, director and producer of The Scots Who Fought Franco, said: “The Scots Who Fought Franco tells the untold story by the brave men who were there, fighting against Fascism with passion, on the front line. I filmed these never-before-seen interviews ten years ago and this project has been a real labour of love for me. I’m absolutely delighted that STV commissioned the series, to help bring these fascinating and inspiring stories to a peak time audience.”
Alan Clements, director of content at STV, said: “This is a tale of hope, humour, fear and honour and one which I’m confident will capture the imagination of Scots across the country. We’re delighted to be airing these films on STV: we have a vibrant and content-rich schedule, incorporating strong home-grown productions across various genres, popular acquired series and the best of the network material.”
The Scots Who Fought Franco is produced and directed by Donald Coutts and is a co-production between STV and Cromarty-based production company Move On Up TV.