Movies to watch on St. Patrick’s Day

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, a national holiday here in Ireland. This means no school! As well as studying, it is a good chance to learn a bit more about Ireland. What better (and easier) way to do this than by watching Irish movies about (or made) in Ireland. Of course, lots of movies have been made in Ireland (E.g. Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan) and Game of Thrones is made up in Northern Ireland. But these are movies which might help you get a better understanding of Irish people and what makes us tick.

The Commitments

This is the story of a group of young Dublin musicians who set up a soul band as a way to escape the drudgery and unemployment that was typical of Ireland in the early 1990s (before the Celtic Tiger arrived). The soundtrack is amazing and you get to see Dublin as it was when your teachers were young boys and girls.

Once

Continuing the music theme, this is the story of a heartbroken musician who meets a young Czech woman who helps him get his life back on track (sorry for the spoiler). The main actor, Glen Hansard, was also in the Commitments and both he and Marketa Irglova got an Oscar for the main song in this film. The scene where he takes her for a motorbike ride has wonderful shots of Killiney Hill overlooking Dublin bay (your southside teachers will know this well; northside teachers will tell you that the Howth Cliff walk is more beautiful but they’d be wrong).

Sing Street

Okay, this one is also about music. But that’s a coincidence! This is much more recent than the last two movies. It is about a young boy who starts a rock band so that he can impress a girl. It is set in the 1980s, the music is brilliant, the horrible grey uniforms are authentic and you should watch it for no other reason than it was shot 10 minutes walk from DIFC.

The General

This one is not about music. It is based on a true story about a criminal in Dublin in the 1980s. There is a bit of violence in this one but it is fun to watch and see all the places that you recognise.

Father Ted

Alternatively, if you don’t have enough time to watch a full movie (too much study perhaps), you could just enjoy some Father Ted episodes. It is a situation comedy from the 1990s about three priests living on a small island. It is a national phenomenon in Ireland – every year there is a Father Ted festival in the West of Ireland. Happy St Patrick’s Day!