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Man of Aran

  • Documentary and factual
  • Drama
  • 1934
  • Robert Flaherty
  • 73 mins
  • U

Summary

A blend of fiction and documentary exploring the challenging life of a fisherman on Ireland's unforgiving Aran Islands. Starring Colman `Tiger" King and Maggie Dirrane

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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

Having virtually pioneered the feature documentary with Nanook of the North (1922), Robert Flaherty unintentionally highlighted its shortcomings with this poetic realist re-creation of a bygone way of life that he passed off as contemporary fact. Keen to depict shark hunting off the Irish coast, Flaherty spent a year on Aran selecting photogenic locals and teaching them techniques that had not been used for generations. There's no denying the dramatic and visual power of the titanic struggle on the cruel sea, but by faking authenticity Flaherty violated the documentarist's code to capture, not mould, the truth. He was also criticised by the more agenda-driven members of the British documentary movement for failing to reflect the islands' social and political problems. Sadly, this trenchant tribute to heroic fortitude will always be remembered more for its artifice than its artistry.

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Credits

Cast

rolename
A man of AranColman King
His wifeMaggie Dirrane
Their sonMichael Dillane

Crew

rolename
DirectorRobert Flaherty

Details

Theatrical distributor
Park Circus
Released on
2011-03-11
Languages
English
Available on
video and DVD
Formats
Black and white
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