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Man of Aran (1934)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 19 November 1934 (Sweden)
In this blend of documentary and fictional narrative from pioneering filmmaker Robert Flaherty, the everyday trials of life on Ireland's unforgiving Aran Islands are captured with attention to naturalistic beauty and historical detail.

Director:

Robert J. Flaherty
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Colman 'Tiger' King ... A Man of Aran
Maggie Dirrane Maggie Dirrane ... His Wife
Michael Dirrane Michael Dirrane ... Their Son
Pat Mullin Pat Mullin ... Shark Hunter
Patch 'Red Beard' Ruadh Patch 'Red Beard' Ruadh ... Shark Hunter
Patcheen Faherty Patcheen Faherty ... Shark Hunter
Tommy O'Rourke Tommy O'Rourke ... Shark Hunter
'Big Patcheen' Conneely of the West 'Big Patcheen' Conneely of the West ... Canoeman
Stephen Dirrane Stephen Dirrane ... Canoeman
Pat McDonough Pat McDonough ... Canoeman
Edit

Storyline

In this blend of documentary and fictional narrative from pioneering filmmaker Robert Flaherty, the everyday trials of life on Ireland's unforgiving Aran Islands are captured with attention to naturalistic beauty and historical detail.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 November 1934 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Männer von Aran See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gainsborough Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The islanders hunt a basking shark for its oil, but they hadn't done so in generations. The filmmakers had to bring an Inuit hunter to show them how to do it as their ancestors might have. See more »

Connections

Featured in Stützen der Gesellschaft (1935) See more »

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User Reviews

Enthralling!
23 January 2001 | by Zen BonesSee all my reviews

If you were to ask passers-by on the street if they'd be interested in seeing a 1934 documentary about the harsh day-to-day existence of a tiny community living on a remote island off the coast of Ireland -- well, you'd be standing there all day before you could find someone who'd say, "sure!". Which is really a disappointment because they don't know what they're missing!

Think of every poem you've read about the sea and man's relation to it and you might get a clue as to the depths of feeling that this film has. It's like Hemingway, Pablo Neruda and W.B. Yeats all rolled into one. It's extremely simplistic, just shots of how a small family fishes, hauls seaweed for fertilizer (there is no soil on the island) and dodges waves so high that its foam sprays above the cliff-tops. Not to mention an incredible sequence where five fishermen try to catch and kill a shark that is a good deal larger than their boat!

What's most exhilarating about this film is that while you're watching it, you can't help but think that these people are crazy to choose to live in such a desolate and difficult place, but then you try to imagine them elsewhere and you know that they are as much a part of that environment as the stubborn sea-worn cliffs are. After even thirty minutes of the film, the roar of the ocean and the cries of the gulls fill your head to such an extreme that you know that such people could live no where else. This film is reminiscent of Roberto Rossellini's film, "Stromboli" about the inhabitants of a small village on a volcanic island. There are a few brief pockets of sentimentality due to the score, but the filmmakers thankfully left out the music during all of the film's most important scenes. Overall what you have is an incredible cinematic experience that makes you think and imagine what it would be like to live a life where every day is a struggle with the elements of nature and a fight for survival, yet filled with the deepest awe and respect for nature and for living.


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