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Seamus is a 9 year old boy who has been diagnosed with a serious illness. In search of a miracle, he sets off to find God before God comes for him. Inspired by Saint Columcille, Seamus sets out in a small boat without oars or sail. On his quest he encounters James and Darry. Despite initial conflict, the trio decide to stay together and enter upon a journey that results in the healing of hearts and minds. Written by
This is an excellent film for people who like to analyze symbolism, theme and philosophy. It's probably a lousy film for people who want a digestible story.
The plot goes something like this: A desperate boy sets out to meet Jesus and find a miracle. Along the way he finds other wanderers who are similarly searching for answers, though they may not know it. It feels a lot like a "road movie" except that most of it happens on the water.
A lot happens. Flashbacks occur. Strange, nameless & illusory characters appear and then disappear just as abruptly, and the effect may be disorienting on many people. But I think that's the point. Without being obvious about it, the filmmaker immerses us in a dream where everything seems to be fragmented, yet it's possible to grasp a central message if you think hard enough. Isn't that how all dreams are?
Adding to the dreamy, surrealistic feel is the excellent brooding landscape & weather of northern Ireland where this was filmed. I couldn't think of a more ideal setting. And the music really helps too.
There is a lot of religious symbolism, and very quickly we see that the story revolves around matters of faith, delusion and deception. A man may look like Jesus through the eyes of the faithful, but in reality he's just a criminal. Or is he really an instrument of god in a criminal form? Every character & every event has multiple layers, each layer corresponding to a level of belief or non- belief. And the interesting thing is perhaps it doesn't really matter.
Well, that's all I'll say because I don't want to ruin your enjoyment of piecing it together for yourself. The movie really is a puzzle--a cryptic dream which has a ton of interpretations.
Though very different from any movie I can think of, I would compare the style to Herzog's "Aguirre the Wrath of God" or maybe Wenders' "Paris Texas" or Tom Tykwer's "Heaven" or the "Decalogue" by Kieslowsky. All of these are excellent, airy films that ponder the nature of our existence & spiritual destiny.
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