At the tail end of the Irish Civil War in 1923, on the fictional Irish isle of Inisherin, folk musician Colm Doherty abruptly begins ignoring his lifelong friend and drinking buddy Pádraic Súilleabháin. Pádraic, though nice and well liked by the islanders, is too ‘dull’ for Colm, who wishes to spend the remainder of his life composing music and doing things for which he will be remembered.
Pádraic’s life is destabilised by the loss of one of his few friends; as Pádraic grows increasingly distressed at the rejection, Colm becomes more resistant to his old friend’s attempts to speak to him. Colm eventually gives Pádraic an ultimatum: every time Pádraic bothers him or tries to talk with him, Colm will cut off one of his own left fingers with a pair of sheep shears.
The local garda, (policeman) Peadar, beats his troubled son, Dominic severely, and Pádraic and his sister, Siobhán, take Dominic, in for a short time. Later, in the pub, Peadar insults Pádraic, who retaliates by making public the fact that he beats his son and sexually abuses him as well.
After Pádraic delivers milk to the market, Peadar accosts him and strikes him twice, knocking him to the ground nearly unconscious. Colm witnesses this. Wordlessly he lifts Pádraic back into his wagon and drives it back toward their homes. On the way, Pádraic breaks down sobbing. Colm pulls the wagon to a stop at a fork in the road, and gets out to walk down the right path toward his house, leaving Pádraic to guide his wagon along the left path to his own.
What happens to this strange friendship?
Find out at Ballina Fair and Palace Cinemas this week.
We need more good quality diverse, multi-cultural entertainment like this. Even better if it was in Gaelic, preferably Scottish Gaelic. Irish Gaelic is a little too foreign.