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7 Must-See Films That Explain Ireland to International Students

28th February 2017 Posted by: Maddie Broxup

ASIDE from being able to listen to that accent, Ireland has a lot to offer when it comes to film. It is the filming location for TV shows such as Game of Thrones and Vikings, and the homeland of many actors including Michael Fassbender and Colin Farrell. The list below contains 7 must-see films from various genres that range from romance to religion, crime to drama, that portray a true representation of Ireland, or what it means to be Irish.

Intermission (2003)

Set in Dublin and starring a brilliant cast, Intermission is a dark comedy that follows the lives of a few dysfunctional characters whose life choices create consequences for each other’s lives. The themes within this film include life, love, violence and the law, and challenge a whole rollercoaster of emotions.

My Left Foot (1989)

Based on a true story, a heartwarming tale about a disabled Irishman with cerebral palsy. The title comes from his ability to use his only functional limb, which is his left foot, to overcome his disability by painting and writing. Fun fact: Daniel Day-Lewis also broke two ribs during this film from having to stay in a hunched-over position for weeks on end!

Once (2007)

This film is a romantic musical about a Dublin musician who makes a living by busking on the streets by day and fixing vacuum cleaners for his dad’s business by night. One day, he meets a Czech immigrant who can play piano and is able to help him put together a demo that he can take to London in hopes of obtaining a music contract. This film challenges love and distance, revealing their emotions for one another through music.

The Magdalene Sisters (2002)

Based on the happenings in 1964, three young girls find themselves cast away by their parents and into the Magdalene Asylum where they are treated like prisoners and forced into hard labour. Supposedly for ‘fallen’ women, the asylum is extremely religious and the girls are punished until they are physically drained and mentally damaged. The story focuses on the three girls and their hope for freedom. A must see for anyone.

In Bruges (2008)

A ruthless film staring two Irish hitmen. After a job gone wrong, hitman Ray and his associate Ken find themselves anxiously awaiting orders from their boss whilst they lie low in Belgium. Whilst Ken explores the historic city, Ray finds himself bored and fed up until he eventually meets drug dealer Chloe who Ray finds himself becoming more and more attached to.

The Commitments (1991)

Bored with the bands in Ireland, Jimmy puts together a soul band made up of working class musicians from Dublin, and names them The Commitments. From multiple gigs and the release of songs, they find themselves climbing to the top and becoming more and more popular. However, the band are tested when finding themselves in the limelight. With stardom comes friction, and a clash of personalities is bound to cause tension within such a large group of people. It is uncertain whether they will be committed enough to keep it going.

Calvary (2014)

Irish priest Father James finds himself at the center of trouble when a parishioner confesses that he was abused as a child at the hands of another priest and is going to take revenge by killing Father James. The film follows Father James as he takes matters into his own hands and begins to understand that the town has no shortage of domestic abuse, racism and nihilistic tendencies within the community. But will he be able to avoid death?

Once you've watched these, why not check out our must-see films that explain Canada, England, Portugal and France.

Interested in studying in Ireland? Find out more about the country and universities.



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