By David Raether
It’s March, so you’re probably expecting this post to be in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Nah. I think the green beer, silly hats, and pub crawls pretty much cover that sufficiently. I bartended my way through too many St. Patrick’s Days to find it in any way an appealing holiday that honors Irish heritage. Unless, of course, you consider drunken fistfights with your cousins and people who go out once a year to be a salute to the homeland.
No, I propose this post in honor of the deep, complex, and ever-evolving Irish culture—particularly its cinema culture. Irish cinema has been booming in the past twenty years and is among the most fresh, diverse, and exciting in the world today.
The Irish government has invested considerably in the film industry through direct financing and tax breaks for productions in Ireland. The result has been the emergence of several respected and interesting Irish directors and writers.
There has been no shortage of great Irish movies in the past 30 years. Some of the ones I have enjoyed are Bad Day for the Cut (2017), the animated film The Secret of Kells (2009), Bloody Sunday (2002), In the Name of the Father (1993), Once (2007), and My Left Foot (1989). Not all of these are available from DVD.com, but they are worth searching out. Ireland also has a Best International Picture Academy Award nominee this year with The Quiet Girl (2022), which has received rapturous acclaim and is primarily filmed in the Irish language. (The film is due to come to DVD.com soon, so keep an eye out for it.)
I also would be remiss not to mention Derry Girls (2018-2020). This is, for me, at least, one of the funniest sitcoms ever produced. It follows the adventures of a group of Catholic high school girls (and one English Protestant boy who attends with them because he’d otherwise get beaten up at the Catholic boy’s school) during the final years of The Troubles in the town of Derry in Northern Ireland. I know. It doesn’t exactly sound like the funniest premise for a comedy, but trust me, it’s tremendously funny.
Herewith are my favorite Irish movies that you can currently rent here through DVD Netflix. No, not all of these are purely Irish movies, but they all are set in Ireland and concern Irish lives and culture. And perhaps more importantly, they definitely all belong in your queue.
Leave a Reply