DER Documentary

The Village

by Mark McCarty
produced by Colin Young
black and white, 70 min, 1968


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In intimate study of the slow-paced diurnal round of activity in Dunquin, County Kerry, Ireland, the westernmost village in Europe and one of the last Gaelic-speaking communities. At the time of filming, 1967, the village consisted of 180 people, most elderly and poor. This portrait of a peasant society was filmed at a time when acculturation by urban tourists was beginning; the language, customs and subsistence techniques of the past are presented without commentary or narration.

Through this cinéma vérité exploration, key village characters emerge: the postmistress, who dispenses sweets, gossip, and pensions; the pub owner, who is also landlord, grocer, de facto mayor, and traditional yarn-spinner. Isolated from the rest of the country, depleted by emigration and devastated by a harsh climate, the society, traditions, and lives of Dunquin carry on.

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