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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.

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