• Golden Globe Awards

Arracht (Ireland)

Set during the Irish potato famine in 1845, Arracht, which means monster in the Irish language, is a dark yet beautiful movie from writer/director Tom Sullivan. In his story, brutal colonization by English overlords runs side by side with the deadly blight that wiped out the lumper potato on which the Irish peasantry had become so dependent.
While the crops rot in the fields from this deadly fungus in Ireland, Colmán Sharkey, a fisherman, loving father and husband, takes in a stranger at the behest of a local priest. Patsy, a former soldier in the Napoleonic wars arrives just ahead of the blight that eventually wipes out the country’s entire potato crop, contributing to the death and displacement of millions. As the Famine rages, decimating all before it, Colmán, his brother and Patsy travel to the English Landlord’s house to request a stay on rent increases that Colmán predicts will destroy the already ravaged community. His request falls on deaf ears and that night Patsy goes on a murderous rampage killing five people including the Landlord and Colmán’s brother, Seán.
Two years later and millions of Irish have either died or been displaced. Colmán, blamed for the murders and on the run, is unable to prevent the death of his loved ones. Isolated on a rocky island he is driven mad with the trauma of his loss and lives a feral existence in a realm between life and death.
After a failed suicide attempt, Colmán encounters a young girl, Kitty, abandoned on the mainland. While trying to help her, he is injured in an attack and they are both stranded on the island. They nurse each other back from the brink and a life-saving friendship develops. But Colmán’s respite is short lived when Patsy, now in the employment of an English bounty hunter returns to find him.
Winner of Best Film, Critics’ choice and audience awards at several major European film festivals,is, to paraphrase WB Yeats, “a terrible beauty”.