You know I’m a reader … but not everyone is. And that’s OK. But you’re planning a trip to Ireland and you’d like to get a feel for the history and the culture. What’s a nonreader to do?
Just pick up the remote control, friends.
There are lots of movies about Ireland or made in Ireland by Irish folks. Many of them are dark, but Ireland has a tragic past. And a good cry never hurt anyone. 🙂 Others are made in Ireland but are not necessarily authentic. (For example, PS I Love You is a sweet, fun movie but Gerard Butler is Scots for heaven’s sake and the other guy, the other love interest—Jeffrey Dean Morgan—is American … both playing Irishmen with really horrible accents. Hm. And the only thing authentic about Leap Year is, well, the scenery.)
Movies are great for the whole family and they can help set the mood. Maybe watch one or two a month and then have a marathon right before you leave!
And here’s one more idea. In 2011 the BBC produced a five-part documentary series for television called The Story of Ireland. It was cowritten and narrated /hosted by journalist Fergal Keane, one of my favorite Irish writers, and you can read a little more about it here. Lucky you—all five hours are available on YouTube:
So here’s your movie list, presented without editorial comment (meaning some are better than others). You can research them and see what will appeal to you most. And I’ve put some titles in bold to help you narrow the list, since you probably won’t have the time or desire to watch all of them; the ones in bold are the ones I think are particularly revealing. (It was, however, difficult to only choose these eleven.) The list is by no means comprehensive; if there’s a special title I’ve missed, please let us know in the comments.
Boys & Girls of County Clare, The
Breakfast on Pluto
Butcher Boy, The
Crying Game, The
Dancing at Lughnasa
Gangs of New York
In the Name of the Father
Into the West [the one with Gabriel Byrne]
Magdalene Sisters, The
Mickeybo and Me
My Left Foot
PS I Love You
Quiet Man, The
Rory O’Shea Was Here
Secret of Roan Inish, The
Shine of Rainbows, A
This Is My Father
Waking Ned Devine
When Brendan Met Trudy
Wind That Shakes the Barley, The