- Film & TV
- 10 Oct 22
The Irish language film is an adaptation of Claire Keegan's Foster.
Since its release last May, Irish language film An Cailín Ciúin (translated to The Quiet Girl) has impressively grossed over €1 million at the Irish and UK box office. The flick has received major acclaim, racking up 5-star reviews from critics and a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film is based on Foster, a short story by award-winning Irish author Claire Keegan. The film adaptation is a deeply emotional coming-of-age drama that explores the meaning of familial relationships through the eyes of a neglected young girl, Cait (played by 12-year-old Catherine Clinch).
In rural Ireland in 1981, Cait is deeply neglected by her parents as they live in an overcrowded and hectic home, until she is sent to stay with distant relatives for the summer. Eibhlín (Carrie Crowley) happily takes her in and immediately treats Cait as her own daughter, while husband Seán (Andrew Bennett) takes some to warm up. Filled with both heartwarming and painful moments, the story climaxes when a dark secret is uncovered.
An Cailín Ciúin was produced by Cleona Ní Chrualaoi of Inscéal, the production company she established with writer/director of the film Colm Bairéad in 2012. It was made as part of the Cine4 funding scheme for Irish language films in partnership with Screen Ireland, TG4 and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
"We are truly humbled by the manner in which audiences in Ireland and the UK have embraced our film. We are enormously grateful to all the cinemas who have allowed the film the time and space to grow and to Access Cinema for its extraordinary work in making the film available to local audiences. We owe an enormous debt of gratitude also to Claire Keegan for allowing us to adapt her work to the screen. The film's success is testament to the truly universal work she created in Foster. And last, but not least, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to TG4, Screen Ireland and the BAI, as funders of the Cine4 scheme, for believing in us as filmmakers and supporting us during this extraordinary journey. It has been a life-changing experience," said Bairéad and Ní Chrualaoi.
Colm Bairéad shows his appreciation for the Irish language by always incorporating it into his work, explaining: "Obviously that’s borne of my upbringing; I have Irish and I love Irish." He equates filmmaking to a type of language, and wonders "what can we bring to these conversations that is distinctly Irish?" Adapting Keegan's incredibly intimate story was difficult, but a challenge Bairéad said he knew he wanted to undertake.
Alan Esslemont, Director General of TG4 said, "Seeing the impact the film has had on audiences from every generation has been truly moving, and we believe a watershed moment for Irish-language cinema, which has been redefined by the incredible output from the Cine4 scheme in recent years. In the middle of an intensely difficult time for cinemas and the cinema-going experience, an Irish-language film broke domestic box office records and told a beautiful story about childhood, connection and the power of care."
The Irish Film and Television Academy has selected An Cailín Ciúin as Ireland's entry for Best International Feature Film at the Oscars, making it the first fully Irish-language film submitted for an Academy Award.
An Cailín Ciúin is still showing in theatres. Watch the trailer below:
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