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Lockerbie film aims to be ‘respectful’

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By Abbey Morton
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Lockerbie film aims to be ‘respectful’

A FILM about the Lockerbie Air Disaster, directed by and starring a Hollywood star, has been released in the UK.

Some of The Last Photograph was shot in and around Lockerbie several years ago and also uses news footage from the night Pan Am flight 103 exploded and crashed on the town.

Production was completed in 2017, but it has taken nearly four years for the feature length film to arrive on screens here, with it now available to download via screening services.

Danny Huston, famous for his roles in Oscar-winning Big Eyes, X-Men, Hitchcock, plays protagonist Tom — a father grieving his son who was killed in the terror attack on December 21 1988.

The film is based on the book of the same name, written by Simon Astaire.

In an interview in The Sunday Times this week, Huston explained he was in the UK when the disaster happened and can still remember the news reports.

He said: “We have Alistair Stewart breaking the news in the film, because that is how I heard the news that night.

“I remember his ashen face.”

Having grown up in Italy and Ireland, he was aware of the Red Brigades and the IRA but the star was shocked at the scale of the Lockerbie tragedy and is conscious that “the ripples can still be felt to this day.”

The story, in both the book and the film, centres on the theft of a photograph of Tom and his son Luke, taken the day before Luke was killed in the 1988 tragedy.

Set between London and Lockerbie, the movie sees the grieving father hunting down the thieves.

Huston said: “Our story is fiction, which gave me a certain amount of freedom, but we’re talking about truth here and that’s where the archive material is very important.

“It’s odd that Lockerbie is known for the terrible disaster of a deadly terrorist attack yet it is a place of almost pastoral beauty with those fields and hills rolling out before you.

“And Lockerbie remains a complex situation that still feels unresolved, so I was always conscious of being very respectful and not behaving like brazen film-makers.”

Huston was seen in the Lockerbie area back in autumn 2015.

He stayed at The Dryfesdale Hotel for several nights and owner Glen Wright said at the time: “He’s been back and forth for a couple of weeks and we’ve been delighted to have him here.

“He’s been shooting in Lockerbie and up at Tundergarth.”

The Last Photograph is available on digital streaming sites.