Man of Aran (1934)
“It is a fight from which he will have no respite until the end of his indomitable days, or until he meets his master — the sea.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
… and a pivotal scene — when a group of fishermen spend two days capturing a shark — was staged after teaching the participants how to carry out this survival skill of their recent ancestors. With all that said, Man of Aran remains an undeniably striking film, and accomplishes its goal of demonstrating how challenging it can be for humans to exist in less-than-convenient geographic locations.
While not must-see, film fanatics will likely be curious to check this title out at least once — and if you do, be sure to follow up immediately by watching the essential 1976 documentary How the Myth Was Made (included on the DVD), in which a filmmaker tracked down the original actors and crew and learned how the film impacted the tiny island community (primarily in terms of tourism, it turns out).
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
One thought on “Man of Aran (1934)”
Not must-see. No doubt the film had more impact on its initial release. Time has revealed how limited this film is in lasting appeal. The film works within a very small range of events (a small handful, really), and is rather repetitive – we also get countless shots of fierce ocean waves crashing against a shoreline.
There is a small amount of dialogue here and there in the film – but we may as well be watching a silent, since all of the visuals suffice in letting us know what’s going on.
‘MOA’ will be most appreciated by those who have a particular interest in the specific subject matter.