Last September, The

Deborah Warner steps from theatre to screen director with an adaptation of an Elizabeth Bowen novell set in the Irish Troubles of 1920 in Danielstown, County Cork, in the country home of Sir richard Naylor and his wife., Lady Myra. The Naylors preside over houseguests who uneasily try to enjoy life while the tide of Irish republicanism rises all around them. The Naylors insist that it is no more than the usual shenanigans of the Irish natives. However behind the facade of tennis parties and army camp dances, everyone knows that the end is approaching. The film is a portrait of the end of an era – British rule in Ireland – and the demise of a class and way of life that survived for centuries. It is also a psychological drama depicting the tensions between love and the longing for freedom, between tradition and the terrifying prospect of independence, both political and spiritual. Above all, it is a portrait of a young woman’s coming of age in a brutalised time and place. The Last September stars Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Fiona Shaw, Jane Birkin.

Ireland/UK. 1999
100 mins.

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