***SPOILERS*** 'Branwen' is a film loosely based upon the Welsh Myth from the Mabinogion. In the myth, Branwen marries the King of Ireland. In the film, Branwen is a Welsh nationalist who meets and marries an Irishman called Kevin, also a Welsh nationalist. The sub-plot centres around the disapproval of Branwen's older brother, Mathonwy (a soldier). This plot is revived near the end of the film and ends with fatal consequences. However, Branwen and Kevin move to Belfast to live and soon have a son called Gwyn. (she conceives before the marriage takes place) Meanwhile, Branwen is keen to become involved with the republican cause despite Kevin's warnings against this. This conflict inevitably spirals into a series of tragedies; both are accused of being involved in the death of a young soldier, harrowing persecution from the IRA and lastly, Branwen's brother returns shadowed by his dislike of Kevin and the effects of the riots. Mathonwy's reappearance also results in the film's tragedy;the devastating death of Branwen's son. Overall, this is a merely adequate film, especially in the recent light of successful Welsh films such as Solomon and Gaenor. It has an important story to tell but there are too many plot-holes and open-ended elements that let the film down. These are obvious as you watch the film especially concerning Mathonwy's background. The film is quite hard to obtain although certain internet sites and the Welsh chain 'Siop y Siswrn' sell the film in a £20 box set including Solomon and Gaenor, Hedd Wyn and Gadael Lenin. Worth the money if you are studying or merely appreciating the world of Welsh film.
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