Director: Joe Comerford

Following an arranged marriage, Irish Travellers Michael and Angela are sent to smuggle electrical goods across the Northern Irish Border. The faltering relationship of the couple is complicated along the way by their encounter with a diffident IRA man, Clicky. It’s a journey that culminates in the murder of a patriarch with Angela finding a liberation of sorts. 

An anti-romantic Irish road movie, Traveller radically sidesteps the genre, following the script to find the story, deflating narrative expectations. Comerford used non-professional actors from the Traveller community, adjusting the script to changes in the personal lives of the participants and filming in authentic wintry locations. It was, as the director states, “a mixture of the planned and the spontaneous”.

The filmmmaker’s ongoing concerns  about the failure of Ireland’s historical struggles are neatly woven into the dense textures of Traveller. It’s his most poetic, yet demanding, work.

Notes by Eugene Finn

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