LOOKING back on the independence referendum after nine years, the narrative often cited by the No side is that it was a nasty and divisive time in Scotland.

The truth, of course, is far more complex than that. And the film To See Ourselves brilliantly charts the highs and the lows, the debates and the passion, the hope and the fears of the whole experience from a Yes campaigner’s point of view.

Filmmaker Jane McAllister gathered hours and hours of footage of her SNP activist father Fraser knocking doors, attending meetings and attempting elaborate stunts with Yes flags in a bid to secure an independent Scotland.

There’s also plenty everyday scenes of family life, grandchildren, watching telly, washing socks – capturing a fascinating snapshot of modern Scotland.

READ MORE: Pat Kane: Why we should support documentary about Yes in 2014

We already know the ending. But the result is, even after almost a decade, a fresh look at the time in which the politicians are firmly in the background. The granular style of filming, with shaky cameras, bird shots and footage taken in cars helps to immerse the viewer firmly in the moment.

Fraser, who was an SNP councillor at the time of the referendum, is a natural star, providing plenty of humour as he goes about trying to convince people of the case for Yes.

When an elderly supporter of the Union at day care centre launches into passionate defence of the UK, Fraser challenges him to a fight – prompting him to collapse into laughter.

There’s other classic moments includes philosophical conversations with his toddler granddaughter – “What’s it all about – constitutional change, did you say?” and squeezing through his car window after parking it inches from a wall.

It shows the ups and downs of campaigning – from pulling off the feat of hanging a Yes sign from Edinburgh’s Salisbury Crags to a meeting of activists which comes to a frustrating end when it comes to agreeing the best way forward for the campaign.

Some of the best scenes feature Fraser and his buddy Matthew, who seems to be intent on thinking up increasingly adventurous ways to get the Yes message across.

The National: To See Ourselves has been directed by Jane McAllister

Visiting the site of a disused gas storage tanks as a possible location to hang a giant banner, Fraser lists the difficulties with increasing alarm -a sign saying no unauthorised banners, 24 hour CCTV and the danger of falling debris.

The most poignant moment of the film comes when Fraser revisits Springburn in Glasgow, where he grew up – and reveals exactly why he feels so passionately about Scotland gaining independence.

Observing the scars on the face of man passing by reflects on growing up in a place where violence was the norm and how drug and alcohol problems are a sign of people “not living well”, and muses over how those living in the most affluent areas of Scotland probably would say this is as good as it gets.

“We want that for everyone,” he says.

While this is a film focused on an independence campaigner, there are encounters with the opposite side. Some are thought-provoking – such as the woman who rails against leaving the UK because of the fears over what would happen to the NHS, which provides care for her severely epileptic son.

Others dispel the notion of angry divides between the two camps – with one hilarious moment showing Fraser foiling a No campaigner’s attempt to put a leaflet on his car with the help of his windscreen wipers.

READ MORE: To See Ourselves: Why Scotland should see 2014 indyref documentary

And there's a twist in the tale when it's revealed he wasn't always a supporter of independence. 

A major theme that emerges is how successful the idea of Project Fear was in the No campaign, with people expressing concern about being scared of change. “Would we still get EastEnders?” one woman even asks Fraser at one of the street stalls.

Introducing the film as it premiered at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Tuesday, Jane said she intended to capture the hope and the joy of the time - and that's something which she has achieved. 

For Yes campaigners there was, of course, also disappointment – and following the referendum result the film has a heartstopping moment when the words flash up the screen “Fraser gave up hope”.

But there’s a quick clarification to follow that is was only for “about two days”.

The film is about one family’s personal experience of the 2014 referendum – but it has something every Yes campaigner can relate to and deserves to be widely seen.

For more information on To See Ourselves, including a list of screenings visit HERE.