Irish Film Institute -International Film Directory – Film Listing


    • Director

      Bob Quinn

    • Credits

      Producer: Bob Quinn. Writer: Colm Bairead

    • Principal Cast

      Cyril Cusack, Donal McCann, Niall Tobin, Maighréad Ní Chongaile, Mick Lally

  • Category

    Irish Language
    First Wave

Bob Quinn’s firebrand response to pastoral visions of rural Ireland, this grim depiction of rural living generated outrage when it first appeared in 1979. The story concerns two layabouts, Labhrás (Donal McCann) and Sleamhnan (Niall Tóibín), and the poitín-brewer Micíl (Cyril Cusack) they work for. Against a stony, desolate background the pair distribute Micíl’s produce, struggling to avoid the attentions of the police as they do so. A piece of chance gives the pair the opportunity to steal Micíl’s poitín and sell it as their own; the success of this scheme turns the callous animosity between employees and employers into a more dangerous conflict. Images of stupidity and cruelty dominate this defiantly unsentimental film that, even today, retains its power to act as a riposte to idealisations of Ireland.

65 minutes, Ireland, 1978, Colour

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