76 minutes| U.K.| 1934| Black and White| D-Cinema

Robert Flaherty’s seminal Man of Aran is about to be released on DVD in a restored version, with the extras including material provided by the IFI Irish Film Archive. Here’s a chance to see the film in high definition on the big screen.

Initially arriving for an overnight stay, Flaherty eventually spent over two years among the native community of the Aran Islands, which are described as ‘wastes of rock . . . without trees . . . without soil’. The film focuses on one family that’s representative of the larger population. It chronicles their struggle to eke out an existence in environs that constantly threaten to overwhelm them. Flaherty’s bold mix of documentary and dramatic fiction has led to criticisms of the film’s veracity, but what cannot be doubted is the sheer beauty of the imagery. With its elemental drama played out against the backdrop of a vast and ever-changing sea, this remains a remarkable document of a bygone era. (Notes by Kevin Coyne).

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