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The Colleen Bawn

Sidney Olcott, 42 minutes, 1911

The Colleen Bawn is indicative of Kalem’s aspiration to aim its Irish subjects beyond an Irish-American audience and is highly ambitious in its conception. Like Rory O’More, the film is based on a 19th century literary source. Dion Boucicault’s 1860…

The Commitments

Alan Parker, 118 minutes, 1991

Voted the best Irish film ever made in a poll sponsored by Jameson Whiskey in 2005, The Commitment’s charts the unlikely journey of Dublin soul band ‘The Commitments’. Ambitious Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins) takes control of his friend’s struggling wedding…

Dancing at Lughnasa

Pat O'Connor , 95 minutes, 1998

Brian Friel’s enormously popular play about life in 1930s Ireland, the winner of a host of awards when first produced, is here transformed by director Pat O’Connor into a richly textured feature film. At its heart is a family of…

The Dead

John Huston, 83 minutes, 1987

Always the most literary and philosophical of the great Hollywood directors, Huston used this adaptation of the James Joyce story to furnish a portrait of his own artistry as an old man, turning the film into a serene song of…

December Bride

Thaddeus O'Sullivan, 88 minutes, 1991

A compelling story of an open conflict between freedom and tradition, director Thaddeus O’Sullivan’s film sees a nineteenth century Protestant community scandalised by the actions of the fiercely independent Sarah Gomartin (Saskia Reeves). In opposition to convention, Sarah enters into…

Disco Pigs

Kirsten Sheridan, 93 minutes, 2001

Imaginative, shocking, and wholly unlike any coming-of-age narrative Ireland had seen before, Disco Pigs is the story of two teenagers whose lifelong partnership suffers an almost Edenic fall from grace. Runt (Elaine Cassidy) and Pig (Cillian Murphy), known to their…

Dreamtime Revisited

Julius Ziz, Dónal Ó Céillachair, 76 minutes, 2012

A poet and philosopher inspired by Irish mythology and landscape, the writings of the late John Moriarty are here transformed into an impressionistic exploration of the wonder Moriarty found in the world. Interviews with members of Moriarty’s surviving family offer…

Eden

Declan Recks, 83 minutes, 2008

A heart-breaking piece of social realism, this adaptation of Eugene O’Brien’s play of the same name captured the unfulfilling underbelly of Ireland’s Celtic Tiger. The story is of Billy (Aidan Kelly) and Breda (Eileen Walsh) Farrell, a couple whose stale…

Far Out Isn’t Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story

Brad Bernstein, 66 minutes, 2013

Celebrated as a children’s author for books such as The Three Robbers and Moon Man, Tomi Ungerer’s distinctive animation has also addressed political issues with the protest posters he produced supporting America’s civil rights movement and damning its war in…

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