The Banshees of Inisherin

Eamon Dyas 

Popped into the local picture house for a matinee performance not realising it was a special showing for the hard of hearing. It seems that these places offer all kinds of special matinees including for people with Autism and Tourette’s so I have to think that my mistake could have been worse.

Anyway, as it turned out there were only about thirty in the audience watching a film in English with English sub-titles and listening to a very loud sound track. 

I found it to be an odd film but enjoyable and well acted. Absence of Irish language jarred with the historical accuracy as it was supposed to be set in what obviously was the Aran Islands. Also the failure to directly acknowledge that it was the Free State in power in 1923 and therefore responsible for the executions on the mainland was an historic cop out. 

The film seemed to be a metaphor for the destructiveness of pride. The Brendan Gleeson character early on at confession admitted to envy as one of his sins but added that he couldn’t see how pride could be a sin. It was his pride in what he thought he could become in the larger world that led to his rejection of the human relationship with the Farrell character. He saw himself as better than what that relationship represented and set off on a voyage that ultimately led to the destruction of what they both had previously offered the world – Farrell’s “niceness” and Gleeson’s ability to make music. 

Overall it was worth seeing – though perhaps avoid the special matinees. 

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