Irish Abroad: Mammal and The Land of the Enlightened impress at Sundance

We’ve already reported on the successful screenings of Sing Street and Love & Friendship at the Sundance Film Festival, and now we bring you news of some other Irish film s that are also being similarly well received, Rebecca Daly’s Mammal, and Pieter-Jan De Pue’s documentary The Land of the Enlightened.


Mammal stars Rachel Griffiths and Barry Keoghan attended the premiere with Daly, co-writer Glenn Montgomery, and producers Macdara Kelleher and Conor Barry, who all took part in a post-screening Q&A.

[quote cite=”” title=”Allan Hunter – Screen International]The raw vulnerability of the two performances creates a rock solid centre to this delicately handled immersion in love and grief.[/quote]

Mammal is the story of Margaret (Rachel Griffiths), a separated woman living alone in Dublin, who learns that her teenage son has been found dead. Enduring her unsettling grief privately, she escapes daily to the local swimming pool. One day at the pool she runs into Joe (Barry Keoghan), a homeless youth she found injured late one night in the deserted laneway behind her work. Margaret offers Joe a room in her house and an unorthodox relationship starts to develop between them. Margaret’s ex- husband Matt (Michael McElhatton) begins to turn up randomly in Margaret’s life. As Margaret and Joe’s mutual reliance grows their tentative trust is threatened by the escalation of Matt’s grieving rage and Joe’s involvement with a gang of violent youths.

Written by Rebecca Daly and Glenn Montgomery, the film is being produced by Macdara Kelleher for Fastnet Films (Strangerland, Kisses, The Other Side of Sleep) with co-producers Calach Films in Luxembourg and Rinkel Film in The Netherlands. It features Australian actress Rachel Griffiths, Irish rising star Barry Keoghan, Michael McElhatton, Johnny Ward, Aoife King, Joanne Crawford, Nika McGuigan, and Annabell Rickerby. Funded by Bord Scannán na hEireann / the Irish Film Board (IFB), Luxembourg Film Fund, BAI, TV3, the Dutch Film Fund and the Dutch Production incentive, Mammal will be released for Irish audiences by Wildcard Distribution later this year.

Pieter-Jan De Pue’s documentary The Land of the Enlightened which was produced by Irish producer Morgan Bushe for Fastnet Films, charts the complex Afghani war economy told through the eyes of the children who have found themselves caught up in the on-going American occupation.

The Land of the Enlightened is a Belgium/Irish/Dutch/German co-production produced by Academy Award® nominated Savage Film Productions, Fastnet Films, Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion and Submarine. Films Boutique are acting as the world sales agent. It will also be released by Wildcard Distribution next year.

[quote cite=”” title=”Daniel Walber – Film School Rejects”]The Land of the Enlightened’ is all at once a tremendously ambitious narrative experiment that features Afghanistan’s struggling youth, a breathtaking tour of the nation’s oft-invaded landscapes, and a pointed portrayal of America’s military presence.[/quote]

[quote cite=”” title=”David D’Arcy – Screen Daily”]De Pue’s logistical triumph in caves and on caravans aims for visual magic, and captures plenty of it.[/quote]