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14.07.2014
Woodland Theater of Davies CenterA beguiling fairy tale firmly grounded in Irish political history, local culture and custom, John Sayles' The Secret of Roan Inish is set in the hard postwar Ireland of 1946.
Admission is free at the door with a Blugold Card or an International Film Society membership. According to her relatives living on the Irish coast, some of their ancestors were "Selkies" - able to switch between being seals and humans. Download our Primary and Secondary review writing guides and develop your own writing style. Ten-year-old Fiona (Jeni Courtney) comes to live with her grandparents in a remote fishing village near the fabled, abandoned island of Roan Inish. Community members may buy an individual IFS membership for $4; a family membership costs $10. Adapted from the book Secret of the Ron Mor Skerry, the 1940s story is told from the point-of-view of Fiona (Jeni Courtney), a young girl sent to live with her grandparents in an Irish fishing town.
This might explain why Fiona's brother went missing when he was a baby, and why Roan Inish - the "island of the seals" - is so important to them. Fiona immerses herself in local lore and legend, much of it involving mysterious lights, a lost boy, and a mythical race of Selkies a€” half human, half seal a€” whose blood is rumored to run through her family. The annual memberships are available at the Service Center, 715-836-3727, in Davies Centera€™s east lobby.


Her grandfather weaves grand stories about the family's evacuation from their home on the tiny island of Roan Inish and about his great-great grandfather, who once cheated death at the hands of the unforgiving sea.
Later, Fiona believes that she has found Jamie romping in the grass on Roan Inish, and she must convince the family of her vision.
While Roan Inish has the feel of a family film, it shares with other Sayles works a character who learns history through storytelling, such as Sam Deeds in Lone Star (1996) and Dr. We would call her a mermaid, but on that western coast of Ireland such creatures were well-known as Selkies.The ancestor trapped the creature and married her, and they had children together and lived happily, although she seemed to long for the sea. One day she learned where her husband had hidden her sealskin, up under the roof, and she put it back on, and returned to the sea.Fiona (Jeni Courtney), who is 12 or 13 years old, is told this story by a relative.
And well might Fiona believe it, because ever since there have been dark-haired children in her family who were said to throw back to the Selkie, and whose eyes turned yearningly to the sea.The year is about 1946. She is sent to live with her grandparents, on a sea coast across from the island of Roan Inish, where the whole family once lived. There she learns the story of her little brother Jamie, whose cradle was carried off by the waves.
It is the exhilarating account of the way Fiona rediscovers her family's history and reclaims their island.
If by any chance you do not believe in Selkies, please at least keep an open mind, because in this film Selkies exist in the real world, just like you and me.On Roan Inish, the girl sees a child's footprint.


She calls to him, but he gets back into his cradle, which is borne out to sea by friendly seals.
Of course it is hard to convince grownups of what she has seen.In the meantime, her grandparents face eviction from their cottage, which is to be sold to rich folks from the city. John Sayles and Haskell Wexler, who has photographed this movie with great beauty and precision, have ennobled the material. There is a scene where a person numbed by the cold sea is warmed between two cows, and we feel close to the earth, and protected.One can easily guess how this legend could have been simplified and jollied up in other hands - how it could have been about cute little Selkies. But legends are, after all, told by adults, not children, and usually they record something essential to the culture that produces them. Children deserve not lesser films but greater ones, because their imaginations can take in larger truths and bigger ideas.



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