Knox Oil and Gas of Houston is far removed from the North Sea oil it desires- and the sleepy Scottish seaside village it wants to buy and replace with a refinery. So Knox sends it's ace dealmaker (Peter Riegert) to negotiate. He finds cheerful future millionaires, awesome northern lights, a lusty innkeeper, a stubborn beachcomber and a mermaid with webbed toes.
Forsyth's touch is perfect: whether showing us a tycoon (Burt Lancaster) with his head in the stars or bridging generations at an all-night ceilidh dance.
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'Local Hero' packs a powerful punch against the unstable, power-robbing way of living that we have all allowed ourselves to slip into. The oil cartels have a vested interest in our off-the-ground, petroholic way of life continuing with the underlying assumption that more is better, regardless of the cost to the environment or indeed local social networks. On a minimal budget, this film tells a story of resistance to oil company muscle and seduction. The carer of a local scottish beach shares an interest in the stars with the president of the oil company prospecting the site for a new refinery. Their connection helps the president to remember something in himself more lasting and precious than oil or gas or money. Instead, the dream emerges for a biological research centre - something much dearer to the president's heart. Right now, when global financial and political systems are facing meltdown, the messages this film puts out were never more pertinent : Follow your heart, take back your power and wake up to the mega control game that we are in the process of freeing ourselves from.
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