Monday, September 15, 2008
Irish Movie Review - The Field "1990"
The Field is a powerful film worth watching for it's story, directing, acting and especially for it's portrayal of Ireland. I'm sure I would have enjoyed it whenever I watched it but I don't think it would have connected as emotionally as it did after my second trip to my mother's home in the West of Ireland in the mountains of Glanduff in County Mayo.
My cousin Tony suggested I watch the film after we took a long walk in the mountains behind my mother's home. My cousin John who lives in Ireland took us back to a home that was built of stones back in the late 1800's or early 1900's. It was amazing to see what they built and the land they cleared of huge boulders to survive in those hard times. It's so hard to imagine the daily struggle my ancestor's went through just to survive. We talked about how important the land was to everyone.
So when I watched The Field i felt how emotionally connected Bull Mcabe was to the land. The Field has a similiar story of sorts to the classic "The Quiet Man" with John Wayne. In both movies an American of Irish descent comes back to buy the land and a struggle occurs. The Field unlike The Quiet Man is not a feel good movie but a dark movie showing the harshness of rural life in Ireland. It makes you understand why so many Irish left for a better and maybe easier life.
The Field is the story of a tenant farmer Bull Mccabe who's son terrorizes the owner who rents the land to them. She decides to sell the farm at an auction to the highest bidder and of course Bull knows no one will bid against him until a newly arrived American does. The outcome is tragic but powerful.
The Field was Jim Sheridan's second directorial effort and he did a fantastic job. He is one of my favorite directors.
Watch this movie to appreciate the history of Ireland and the attachment to the land the Irish had in rural Ireland. It's a story of a proud, strong people. This movie helped me understand my history especially fo my mother's family who grw up in the mountains of Glanduff in a place very similiar to this movie.