Alex Salmond urges Cineworld to 'think again' and screen Robert the Bruce epic in Scotland
Alex Salmond has urged Cineworld chiefs to reconsider their decision not show the new Robert the Bruce biopic in Scotland.
The former First Minister joins a growing number of people venting their disappointment as it emerged that the cinema chain - the UK's largest by number of venues - would not be screening the historical epic starring Angus Macfadyen in Scotland.
The film went on general release in others cinemas across the United Kingdom on Friday.
The tweet included an accompanying message from the ex-SNP leader, which read: "The French artist Paul Gauguin famously summed up the human condition thus: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
"Storytelling is central to answering these questions. And independent cinema is really important to society in contributing answers.
"People understand who they are through the stories that represent them. The fact that this film speaks of a formative time in our country's history, understandably makes it a focus of enthusiasm. That is great to see.
"However, this is not just a film about the past. The subject matter addresses fundamental truths about what it is to be human, which were as applicable in the winter of 1306 as they are in the summer of 2019. That is why this film is so special.
"Long-held beliefs in violence and anger as the only way to change things, to make the world better, are disputed in masterful fashion in this telling of the story of Robert Bruce, King of Scots, and his heroic journey.
"Cinema is about bringing people together from all walks of life and opinions, to sit with one another and share the emotional experience.
"Too many people are isolated today, shielded behind their personal screens; shouldn't we rather encourage people to put their phones away, enjoy each other's company, and breathe in the excitement of finding out something about where we came from, about ourselves, each other and where we are going?"
Fellow politician, Green MSP Ross Greer, also took to the internet to express his bafflement at the decision.
He tweeted: “A movie about Robert the Bruce doesn't have commercial appeal in Scotland? Really?”
"Would be nice to have a discussion about supporting the film & TV industry without it becoming another indyref proxy. I'm looking forward to watching this & it's not because I voted Yes."
Mr Salmond recently interviewed lead man Angus Macfadyen on his RT show, discussing the actor's hopes for a "patriotic surge" following the film's release.
Macfadyen, who reprises his role as the King of Scots more than two decades on from first playing the part in Mel Gibson's Braveheart, has demanded answers from the chain, while one user even tweeted to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to step in and investigate the decision.
Mr Macfadyen tweeted: "be interesting to hear why Scots in Scotland cannot see this film about our own local hero Robert the Bruce. We await your reason @cineworld There is nothing to fear but fear itself, as the Bruce once said."
Meanwhile, a petition has been launched with the aim of convincing Cineworld to perform a U-turn and screen the film in Scotland. The Change.org petition has already gathered more than 2500 signatures.