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it made me want to go out and have a pint... Which I did.
The Irish Pub (2013): 6 out of 10: The Irish Pub is a documentary about... wait for it... Irish Pubs.
What is in the documentary exactly? Director Alex Fegan went into a score or so of Irish pubs, spent the day enjoying a pint or two, and did interviews with the owners (if available) and the patrons.
And that is about it. I mean there are worse ways to spend an hour and a half than watching people drinking Guinness, but there isn't anything else to this film. It would be like if on Kitchen Nightmares Ramsey just visited the restaurants, ate the food without comment and then chatted up the waitress.
Look I was born in Ireland and spent a fair amount of time at Irish daycare in my youth. I like pubs, a lot. The Irish Pub is a pretty nice collection of pubs with happy Irish people in them. (Well drunk at least). There, unfortunately, seemed a lot of unanswered questions and missing information in the hagiography.
A couple of quick notes. Not updating your decor since 1972 does not make you traditional it makes you cheap.
Second note the declining business in pubs in rural areas is due partially to the strict drink driving laws. This claim is not idle speculation. Per The Guardian, a county council in south-west Ireland has voted to back a motion allowing for people living in isolated areas to drink and drive. The motion was passed by Kerry county council on Monday by five votes to three, with the remainder of the councilors either absent or abstaining.
It supports the creation of a permit that will allow rural drinkers to drive after having "two or three drinks." It was tabled by the independent councilor Danny Healy-Rae, who has claimed it would help prevent depression and suicide in the county.
The sponsor of the bill was a pub owner himself who saw the devastating effect the drink driving (Drunk driving to our American cousins) laws have had on pubs.
Even though this law passed the same year this documentary came out nothing is mentioned, even as an aside regarding this issue. In reality, throughout the film, nothing at all is said about much of anything. People talk about how tough times can get, the meaning of some decor hanging on the wall, how they inherited the pub, and how it is a dying tradition. There is no analysis, outside commentary, or even information regarding pubs and their relation to rural Ireland.
On the plus side some beautiful pictures, some very nice stories. It is a peaceful film. And it made me want to go out and have a pint... Which I did.
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