Culture Journal Ireland

Pajeros de Verano

Set in Columbia during the rise of the drug lords, Pajeros de Verano (Birds of Passage) is a sleak, hard-hitting take on gang warfare among the Wayuu people of the South American country which, unfortunately, has become a by word for drug trafficking. The film has a similar grittiness to Brazilian film City of God but with old men in cowboy hats instead street gangs of young men. The plot revolves around a family who have taken to drug dealing in order to keep up with the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. Following an assault on the family’s daughter by the son of a local rival gang lord,…

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A History of a land without a country

The Basques; whether you believe them to be part of a region of another country, or, as some do, to be a country within a country, certainly have a unique identity. As someone who grew up in Northern Ireland, seeing Basque flags in republican areas, this strange banner which, to you appears like a union jack with different colours, certainly does make an impression on you. This particular reviewer has had an admittedly bizarre fascination with this strange land for many years which, in turn, lead to a fascination with Spanish history, particularly the Spanish civil war and the parallels with the Irish civil war a decade earlier. This particular…

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The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid

This documentary by Feargal Ward has been shown on the Irish film festival circuit for a while now and had it’s television debut on RTÉ 1 last night. It tells the story of Thomas Reid, a Kildare farmer who is approached by the IDA to sell his land so that the American microchip company intel can expand it’s influence in the area. We meet Feargal, siting in his century old farmhouse which has been passed down to him by his family, he is surrounded by newspapers which are sure to go back thirty years or more, to say that he is a hoarder would be an understatement. The carpet, the…

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Diego Maradonna

It was the summer of ’86 and this particular reviewer sat down in the box room of the family home to watch the final of that year’s world cup on the tiny portable colour TV that was the norm then. I was just getting into football and my father, (who normally hates football), to his credit watched along with me. These were the days before you could watch the world’s best players on pay per view networks and even before you seeing them play every week in the Champions League seemed like second nature. Maradona is the third in a trilogy of celebrity documentaries following the award winning Senna and…

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Liam Gallagher: As it was. Liam does it his way

IT was September 2002. The summer had ended but there was still cause for many in Derry, Northern Ireland to celebrate. Oasis, the band who had defined a generation were due to play in Prehen playing fields that sunny September. Oasis, together with a number of bands that formed the “Britpop” phenominon burst onto the music scene like a breath of fresh air in the mid nineteen ninties amid a deluge of dance music. For many this was an event like no other; Derry having been starved of the big acts that came regularly to little brother Belfast. There were rumours that notorious hell raiser and frontman Liam Gallagher would…

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