cover art for Prince of Muck

Delightful Docs

Prince of Muck

Season 3, Ep. 1

Prince of Muck

The hilly island of Muck, just off the west coast of Scotland, has been owned by the MacEwen family for more than a century. After decades of devoting himself to caring for the island, Lawrence MacEwen has now passed it on to his son. Lawrence still takes a cold bath every day, and writes in his diary—though the pages are not as full as they once were.

Days in the life of this formal but cheerful man unfold to the rhythm of the island in Dutch filmmaker Cindy Jansen’s calm, observational shots. Lawrence hugs the cows, drives cattle with his grandchildren, and reads out extracts from his diaries that span decades, applying the same methodical approach to his notations of wind directions and deaths.

The younger generation is taking its own path, and Lawrence must accept that he is reaching the end of his own. In the growing awareness that the future belongs to others, he casts his gaze back in time, reciting the poetry and tide tables that he learned by heart as a child.

Cindy Jansen

CINDY JANSEN (Veghel, NL, 1976) Lives and works in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Jansen graduated from the Academy of Visual Arts in Arnhem (NL), Milan (I) and the International Script Development and Directors Program of the Binger Filmlab in Amsterdam (NL). Jansen showed her films at several national and international film festivals, among which Hamburg, Rotterdam and Edinburgh. Her videos and photo works were presented in multiple group- and solo-exhibitions, like Loop '05 Barcelona (ES), Noorderlicht Photo Festival Groningen (NL), and Gerhard Hofland Gallery, Amsterdam.

After Jansen’s attendance of the Binger Filmlab (2007), she was selected for the Berlinale Talent Campus and started to build an international network that has resulted in a prize winning cooperation with Addie Reiss, the cinematographer on her short film Come Spring. In the years that followed, Jansen made controversial films such as Don’t hit me I love you and With Love. The documentary Auld Lang Syne premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) in 2015 and was nominated for a Golden Calf at the Netherlands Film Festival in the same year. In cooperation with production company De Productie and Faction North (UK). Jansen’s first full length feature documentary, Prince of Muck had a World Premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2021 and an International Premiere at the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam. The film will was released in Dutch cinemas in January 2022, shown on BBC Scotland and BBC4 and can be seen worldwide via Amazon Prime Video. Together with production company Witfilm, Jansen is now developing the feature fiction film Clockwork Universe.

Jansen's films and videos vary from non-linear narrations to more fragmented artworks that find their platform in both the art scene and film festivals. She is known for her cinematic framing, contemplative style and slow-burn reveal editing.

More episodes

View all episodes

  • Where Dragons Live

    Where Dragons Live Following the death of their parents, Harriet and her siblings must unpack their childhood fears as they prepare to sell their dragon-filled Oxfordshire home. Suzanne Raes’ film follows the Impey family through a major transition: rifling through the contents of their childhood home in preparation to sell it, with their own children watching on. Between the clutter and the boxes, the siblings find themselves haunted by the memories of their late parents: a dragon-obsessed father and an exacting mother, and the esoteric collections of objects they left behind. Working through her award-winning documentary collective, Docmakers, veteran filmmaker Raes (0.03 Seconde, Two Men, Close to Vermeer) carves out a disarmingly tender rumination on parent-child relationships. Giving equal weight to each sibling, balancing the light and shade of the physical and emotional spaces of their lives, Where Dragons Live also features some dazzling visuals in the way it presents this personal history.Suzanne Rae Suzanne Raes has been working as an independent filmmaker for more than 20 years. Her early films The Houses of Hristina (2007), The Rainbow Warriors of Waiheke Island (2009), and The Successor of Kakiemon (2012) premiered at IDFA and won several awards at international film festivals. Her film Come Closer about Boudewijn de Groot received the IDFA Music Audience Award in 2015. For her film about the Rotterdam social service, Quid pro quo (2015) Raes won a Golden Calf, the most important film award in the Netherlands. The international co-production Ganz: How I Lost My Beetle (2019) had a theatrical release in the Netherlands and has been broadcast in the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. In 2023, her film Close to Vermeer was the only Dutch feature-length documentary that qualified for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature, following successful theatrical runs in the Netherlands, United States and Germany. The film was also nominated for a Golden Calf and won the Special Jury Prize at Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival. Close to Vermeer has been sold to 15 countries to date.
  • Docs Ireland: Don't Forget to Remember

    Don't Forget to RememberAn artist navigates his mother's life and memories as they are being eroded by the advance of Alzheimer's.This collaboration between filmmaker Ross Killeen and Irish street artist Asbestos documents the latter’s creation of an installation inspired by his mother, Helena, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The artwork is an attempt to preserve Helena’s memories of her life – capturing her experiences and feelings – and her love for those who have played a part in it. At the same time, Killeen captures Asbestos’ own love for his mother as he attempts to preserve her recollections. The film is also a record of how life-changing a condition Alzheimer’s is – a moving and poignant portrait that conveys the lived experience of a neurodegenerative condition. But it is also a joyous celebration of a life lived and a testament to the vivid, if fragile, nature of our memory.Ross Killen Ross Killeen is a film director based in Dublin. He founded the award winning production company, Motherland whichworks across film, commercials and music videos. Ross’ directorial debut feature documentary Love Yourself Today, centred on the music of Damien Dempsey and had a nationwide cinematic release in Ireland. The film was nominated for an IFTA and also played all over the UK, New York andAustralia. Brian Eno quoted in relation to the film “I have seen no better film about the social value of art”. Killeen’s other films include 99 Problems and Becoming men. 99 Problems was a short documentary which looked at the murky underworld of the Dublin ice cream business. The film premiered atTribeca film festival in New York and won the audience award at Dublin International Film Festival. It also played at Sheffield FilmFestival and Raindance in the UK. Becoming Men was Killeen’s first short film and put his company, Motherland on the map as a maker of authentic documentary films that resonate with an audience. Ross has two more feature documentaries in development.Asbestos As a prolific Irish artist, Asbestos has been producing street art since 2003, utilising masks to convey narratives and elicit emotions.His works have been displayed worldwide, and he was nominated for “Best International Street Art 2021” for a mural that drew attention to thehousing crisis in Ireland. In 2022 he collaborated with the band Idles at Roskilde festival in Denmark on a project called “I Beat Myself Up” where theysmashed piñatas off their heads to encourge people to talk about their mental health. His art delves into society’s fixation with self-image while using anonymity to become more transparent and candid in his creations. Notably, he reveals his own vulnerabilities, providing insight into what it means to be human. By opening up to the public his work starts a conversation with the viewer making their contribution essential to his work and giving them a voice in it.
  • Silent Men – The Awkward Art of Expressing Emotion

    Duncan CowlesDirector Duncan Cowles takes us on a journey through male mental health, stigma and taboo in the UK. Part road trip, part coming-of-middle-age tale, Cowles’ laconic humour and frank approach to his subject proves effective in exploring aspects of masculinity that all too often are little discussed. Admitting that he is not always open and intimate in his conversations with loved ones, the BAFTA-winning Scottish filmmaker sets out to define masculinity in the modern age – what makes men tick and, more importantly, coming to terms with all aspects of health, both physical and mental. The questions asked in Silent Men may seem simple, but their answers betray underlying tensions, as Cowles’ subjects make all too clear. The film grapples with being able to express oneself as a man – to become someone at peace with themselves, their life and the ones they love.Duncan Cowles Duncan Cowles is a BAFTA Scotland Award winning documentary filmmaker whose short films are often known for their comedic, self-aware and sensitive approach. His shorts have gained significant online exposure through screenings at A-list festivals such as BFI London Film Festival and online platforms such as Short of the Week, Vimeo Staff Picks, BFI Player, BBCiplayer, MUBI, It’s Nice That, TED and numerous others. Duncan has won a selection of awards at festivals such as Glasgow Short Film Festival, Open City Documentary Festival, BFI Future Film Festival, Hamburg Short Film Festival, Kyiv Short Film Festival, Szczecin European Film Festival, The Smalls and received numerous nominations including being twice shortlisted for Best British Short Film at the London Critics Circle Awards. In recent years Duncan has been commissioned to write and direct documentaries for Channel 4, STV, BBC Scotland, BBC Radio 4, TED and Adobe. In 2020 Duncan was commissioned to make x6 30minute episodes of his own new documentary TV series ‘Scary Adult Things’ which looks at the struggles of the millennial generation for BBC Scotland and aired in March 2021.In 2017 Duncan founded his own production company Relative Films Ltd to facilitate the production of his first feature documentary project which he initially took to IDFA Academy before being awarded development funding from Screen Scotland & The Whickers. The film is currently nearing the end of post-production and due to be completed in 2023.Duncan has also hosted a range of documentary filmmaking workshops for all ages for University of Edinburgh, BFI, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Mental Health Foundation, Glasgow Film Festival, Glasgow Youth Film Festival, Flatpack Film Festival, VIS Vienna Shorts, Screen Academy Scotland and more.Duncan graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a 1st Class degree and a specialisation in documentary film, winning an Award for Distinguished work by the University upon graduating. He then went on to work for the internationally renowned Scottish Documentary Institute for three years on training programs and feature documentaries such as I am Breathing, Future My Love, Pablo’s Winter, Seven Songs for a Long Life, Donkeyote, Time Trial, Becoming Animal & Nae Pasaran. He also served for five years as part of the programming team for selecting feature documentaries for the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013-2018. 
  • Docs Ireland: My Friend Lanre

    Martin Lennon is Podcast (
  • Docs Ireland -Glimmer - Marilyin Hyndman Award Winner -

    Martin Lennon is Podcast (
  • Docs Ireland - Eanna Mac Cana

    Martin Lennon is Podcast (
  • Docs Ireland- The Ban

    Martin Lennon is Podcast (