Here is a short list of movies that you could watch before coming to Ireland, or even after you got home!
1- Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959, Robert Stevenson for Walt Disney)
Setted in the XIX century Ireland, Darby O’Gill is the old keeper of a country mansion. He passes all his days in the pub, drinking and telling legends about the little people and during the night he tries to hunt them, who are supposed to live in the near hill. Even if the movie is very old and the special effects are hilarious, it’s interesting to hear his tales and to see how legends would influence everyday life!
Starring a young Sean Connery (it would be worth just for his presence!)
2- Waking Ned Devine (1998, Kirk Jones)
In a small Irish village, two friends find out that one townsmen won the lottery. So they decide to find a way to convince him to split the gains with them. The problem is that Ned, the winner, died for the excitement! The sum is so high that they decide to involve the entire village in a “play” to deceive the notary and to divide the winnings in equal parts.
3- Bloody Sunday (2002, Paul Greengrass)
The movie is about Sunday of January 30th, 1972, when 10.000 Irish citizens decided to defy English ban and demonstrate for their rights. 3.000 soldiers are controlling the protesters. The day ends up with 27 civilian deaths: 14 accidental deaths and 13 people killed by gunshots. All of them were young guys around 20 years. From that moment on IRA (the Irish Republican Army, which supported Irish independence from the United Kingdom) gained reliability and supports.
4- The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006, Ken Loach)
The armistice of 1921, with the withdrawal of British troops, but without the total independence of Ireland, was a moment of high tension between those Irish who were content with this compromise, watching at it as a needed moment of transition and those who wanted to continue the fight until the complete independence of Ireland, as they were so close. The movie deals with two brothers, Damien and Teddy O ‘Donovan, who had fought together until the armistice and now fully experiencing the complexity of this rift.
5- Leap Year (2010, Anand Tucker)
According to an old Irish tradition, every February 29th, that means every four years, women are allowed to take initiative and ask their men to marry them. So Anna, an American determined to get married after 4 years of engagement, decides to join her boyfriend in Dublin. The problem (there is always a problem in those kind of movie!) is that the plane lands on the other side of Ireland and here Anna meets a grumpy but charming Irish man who decide to help her getting to Dublin and makes her know the real Ireland, marvelous and rainy!