“Growing Old is Mandatory; Growing Up is Optional…”
Director: Alex Fegan
Duration: 76 Minutes
Warning: SPOILER ALERT
Older Than Ireland recounts one hundred years of life in Ireland, told through the eyes of thirty remarkable centenarians. Whilst the film’s contributors comprise of men and women from various parts of the country with diverse memories and conflicting beliefs, what bonds this very special group of people is the fact that they have borne witness to the incredible transition of Ireland under British rule, to an urbanised, multi-cultural, democratic Republic.
A documentary without narration or the interruption of an interviewer’s questions, Older Than Ireland provides the centenarians with an uninhibited voice with which to share as much or as little as they see fit, and most significantly, their onscreen presence will forever immortalise their existence. The tales told are heart-warming, heartbreaking, thought-provoking, and on many occasions, laugh-out-loud funny. Chronicling love, loss, hardship, and happiness over a century of political, social, economic, and technological reform, the film’s narrative seems effortlessly sewn together in a sequential and comprehensive manner.
Director Alex Fegan follows his 2013 examination of the institution that is, “The Irish Pub”, with this superb piece of film. A fascinating project to undertake, Fegan’s Older Than Ireland is innovative and accomplished. Also to be commended is the artistry of cinematographer Colm Nicell who so beautifully and non-intrusively frames the lives of each centenarian onscreen.
A historical and personal account of one hundred years in Éire, Older Than Ireland is a must-see.