Ireland, 1209. An island on the edge of the world. A small group of monks begin a reluctant pilgrimage across an island torn between centuries of tribal warfare and the growing power of Norman invaders. Escorting their monastery's holiest relic to Rome, the monks' progress is seen through the eyes of a pious young novice and a mute lay-brother with a violent past. As the true material, political and religious significance of the bejeweled relic becomes dangerously apparent, their path to the east coast becomes increasingly fraught with danger. The monks belatedly realize that in this wild land of ancient superstitions, the faith that binds them together may ultimately lead to their destruction.Written by
This is the new film from the Irish director of the excellent 2009 flick called SAVAGE about an assault on a news reporter in Dublin (and it's aftermath) and I gotta say, if Werner Herzog had made this film rather than one about an Amazonian trek he wudda been quite happy.
The film is set in the early 1200s in Ireland where superstition and the struggle for Christian domination of the country are rife and there, an envoy from Rome is sent to collect a supposedly sacred relic from some rural monks and bring it back to the holy city.
The movie is grim, and conveys the horrible conditions people existed/lived in back then perfectly (the bloody weather looks the same as Ireland has now though haha). It's highly atmospheric, with bleak Irish landscapes, and the acting is top notch with the film basically being a dangerous road trip carrying the relic to a ship that's waiting for them in Waterford (to sail across to France and onward to Rome).
The fact that the film is recorded in Irish, French, and English adds a brilliant realism to proceedings which echoes the situation at the time with Ireland being infringed upon from all sides, and along the way things get very messy and bloody (one death is particularly gruesome).
I'm sure there wasn't a huge Hollywood budget for PILGRIMAGE but they've kept things really concentrated and its certainly exceeds what you might expect to be straight to video cheese.
This is the third film I've seen by Brendan Muldowney and I think the guy has some talent. I will be looking out for his next film and if you haven't already caught SAVAGE Id check that out too.
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