Irish film industry has grown immensely in the past couple of decades, largely due to the efforts of Bord Scannán na hÉireann and their support for production of screenplays both in Irish Gaelic and English language. Not to mention that Ireland now serves as hot filming location for the likes of ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Vikings’ – must have something to do with its otherworldly magical landscape and fascinating history.
Speaking of history, these 5 films may be your best picks to learn about Ireland’s fight for independence, mythical creatures, musical shenanigans, and how all roads eventually lead to Dublin.
One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter – and Michael Collins was one of those controversial characters of modern Irish history. You may simply feast your eyes on the brilliant performance by Liam Neeson and Julia Roberts, and learn a thing or two about Irish war of independence to be prepared for our guided tour quiz!
When Irish people do not sing about drinking and pretty colleens, there is a fair amount of heart-wrenching songs where everybody dies in the end, perished at sea or at the hand of British soldiers. ’The wind that shakes the barley’ is one of these songs, and the astounding performance of Cillian Murphy and Pádraic Delaney makes this one beautifully sad film a real masterpiece. You can hear the characters speak Irish Gaelic quite a lot, too.
A screen adaptation of Roddy Doyle’s novel, this film explore Dublin’s working class community and music scene, when the characters come together to form the ultimate soul band and conquer the city with their unrivaled sound.
Perhaps one of the most internationally acclaimed pieces of Irish cinema, ‘Once’ is not just about the music, although both performers, Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard went on to have successful music careers in the aftermath. ‘Once’, a non-romantic story of two unnamed characters, is a subtle portrayal of Dublin city where people meet, change each other’s lives for better, and go their separate ways with a lighter heart.
Tom Moore’s authentic Irish animation is here to overshadow international competition with its magical colours, traditional music and mystical stories based on Irish mythology. ’The Secret of Kells’ speaks about the light and darkness, the Christian middle ages when Glendalough was invaded by the vikings, and about the famous Book of Kells that you will see with your own eyes at Trinity College.
Irish humour might be quite hard to grasp for people who arrive here for the first time, but if you can sneak in a reference to ‘Father Ted’ in a conversation with an Irish person they will certainly invite you for a few pints. Initially broadcast on the British Channel 4 in the 90s, ‘Father Ted’ is a classic TV sitcom about fictional Craggy island where priests from across the country get banished for various… incidents in their ecclesiastical career. Along with the housekeeper Mrs. Doyle, whose main duties include serving endless cups of tea and trying to keep everyone out of trouble, Father Ted Crilly, Father Dougal McGuire and Father Jack Hackett is still a pretty accurate portrayal of what life can be like on a small craggy island in the middle of Irish nowhere.
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