10-year-old Fiona is sent to live with her grandparents in a small fishing village in Donegal, Ireland. She soon learns the local legend that an ancestor of hers married a Selkie – a seal who can turn into a human. Years earlier, her baby brother washed out to sea in a cradle shaped like a boat; someone in the family believes the boy is being raised by the seals. Then Fiona catches sight of a naked little boy on the abandoned Isle of Roan Inish and takes an active role in uncovering the secret of Roan Inish.
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)
Rated PG for some moments that may be disquieting to small children
The film examines a young Irish girl, Fiona Coneely, and her search for her baby brother, Jamie, in the late 1940’s. Jamie disappeared a few years earlier, and hints begin to emerge that he may have been carried off by the many seals that haunt the island where he lived.
Fiona is portrayed quite well. Although she looks frail physically, she nevertheless conveys a deep strength and fearlessness as she uncovers strange elements of her family’s past and begins to believe that Jamie may still be alive
The Irish setting is played up very strongly. There are lovely seascapes and good use of Irish music. The faces of the people are very evocative as well, with many rugged, homely appearances that feel very honest and comfortable. The magical elements are portrayed seriously and delicately without getting too corny — no dancing leprechauns.
The messages of the film are done intelligently, without much dialogue, relying mostly on visuals. One thing I noticed in a second viewing is how much of the time the film shows people working. It opens up in a tough-looking laundromat or factory of some sort, and many of the key scenes are set with the main characters talking while they are busy with the work of their daily lives. There is an important scene where children labor especially hard for something that has a strong influence on the resolution of the story. At no time is there an overt quote about working, but the importance of labor comes through seeing people do it.
“Roan Inish” works well for young children as well. My younger sons were swept into it, although it is quite unlike any film they had seen before. They definitely thought it was unusual, but they seemed to enjoy the characters and situations and had a lot of interested questions about what was going on.
Director: John Sayles
Writers: Rosalie K. Fry, John Sayles
Stars: Jeni Courtney, Eileen Colgan, Mick Lally
Countries of origin: United States, Ireland
Languages: English, Irish Gaelic
Filming locations: County Donegal, Ireland
Format : MPEG-4
Format profile : Base Media
Codec ID : isom (isom/iso2/mp41)
File size : 1.60 GiB
Duration : 1 h 42 min
Overall bit rate : 2 230 kb/s
Links: iMDB | NFO | Screenshots backup