Traditionally, films made within Britain, or even in the British Isles, are filmed in English. The logic being that they will be easier to sell to UK and international markets, there’s a much better chance of financing and almost everyone domestically speaks the language. Thankfully, we’re starting to see more productions made in other native tongues. Indeed, shooting in Irish Gaeilge, a beautiful tongue, seems to be increasingly popular, with Arracht and now A Quiet Girl (An Cailín Ciúin) hitting festivals in the last couple of years.
Cáit (Catherine Clinch) is one of several daughters and her mother, who is pregnant again, doesn’t really have time for any of them. Her father spends much of his time elsewhere, coming home when the pub closes. The quiet one, she tends to wander and get lost in her own world. When she’s packed off to stay with distant relatives for the summer, Cáit feels abandoned. However, she’s welcomed by Eibhlín (Carrie Crowley) but her taciturn husband, even if he’s initially cold and standoffish.
A Quiet Girl is a gently moving family drama with a big heart. The strength of Colm Bairéad’s feature debut is the decision to focus on the little things. That and the way he gradually layers Cáit’s relationship with her new ‘family’. The beauty and solitude of rural Ireland is captured by Kate McCullough’s understated but almost magical cinematography. Helping to make A Quiet Girl an utterly delightful experience.
A Quiet Girl screens at Glasgow Film Festival.