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Keltfacts: seven Irish films you shouldn't miss

Yet another evening on the couch, but no films to watch? We present you seven Irish films that you shouldn't miss.

The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006)

This film takes you to Ireland in 1919, during the Irish War of Independence. The working class is uniting themselves as a voluntary Guerrilla army against the British paramilitary forces, the 'Black and Tans'. The Brits are doing everything to prohibit an Irish independence. Damien (Cillian Murphy, who you might recognise from Peaky Blinders) just graduated from his medical studies but leave his career as a doctor to join his brother in battle. This drama is a remarkable rendition of historical events from the Irish history.

The Secret of Kells (2009)

This beautifully animation tells the story of Brendan, who grows up in the Abbey of Kells in Medieval Ireland. The abbey is under siege by the Vikings, causing the monks to strengthen the abbey walls. Meanwhile Brendan discovers his talent for book illumination under supervision of brother Aidan and now wants to help finish the (now famous) Book of Kells. In order to do so, Brendan has to face his worst fears during a quest for magic and ancient Irish folkore outside the abbey walls, where danger awaits. Will his determination overpowers the fight against darkness? 

Ondine (2009)

A modern Irish fairytale about the fisherman Syracuse (Colin Farell) from West Cork, who discovers a beautiful woman named Ordine in his fishing nets. His daughter Annie is convinced that she must be a Selkie, a creature from Irish folklore. Syracuse isn't so sure about that, but since Ordine's arrival his until then depressing live seems to take a completely different turn. Could Ordine really be what Annie claims she is? 

Waking Ned Devine (1998)

When Ned Devine is found dead in his bed after winning the lottery (with the winning lot still in his hand!), the small rural town he comes from works together to find a solution. Together they are fooling the authorities pretending Ned is still alive, so that they can claim and share the money together. A hilarious film with a strong Irish character. 

The Commitments (1991)

Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins) doesn't like the Irish music at all, so he decides to start a soul group, inspired by artists like. Aretha Franklin, James Brown and Otis Redding. But does the working class from Dublin have enough talent to offer a good portion of Rhythm & Blues? After a few remarkable auditions the band 'The Commitments' is born. Do they have what it takes to conquer the Irish music industry?


Song of the Sea (2014)

The animation company behind The Secret of Kells produced another beautiful film based on Irish mythology. 
Ben and his little sister Saoirse - the last seal child - are going on a fantastic journey to their house by the sea, by traveling through a world of magic and Irish legends. Saoirse needs to find her lost voice so she can sing the song of the sea to prevent all magical creatures of becoming extinct. 

Fallen in love with this animation company? We have some good news: in 2020 they will release their third film based in Irish folklore: Wolfwalkers.

Arracht (2019)

Taking place in Connemara, Irelnad, in 1845 during the Great Famine. This film is completely Irish spoken and follows the story of a fisherman who is hunted for crimes he did not commit, while struggling to keep his head above water. He nearly is subsumed by darkness until a helpless little girl saves him from despair. An impressive drama about finding hope when everything seems lost. 

Have fun watching! And let us know which films you liked best. 

Image The Secret of Kells: GKIDS/Cartoon Saloon

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