Irish Film Festival: The Quiet Girl




Set in 1981 in Ireland’s County Waterford where the Irish language is mostly spoken, this gem of a film tells its simple story with empathy and care. Perfect story-telling.

Nine year old Cait (Catherine Clinch, an astonishingly good newcomer to the screen), is a shy and withdrawn nine year old girl living in a poor and dysfunctional family. Her pregnant mother (Kate Nic Chonaonaigh) is not coping well and is adding to the brood of five neglected children.



To lighten her workload her unkempt and taciturn father (Michael Patric) takes her to stay for the summer on a more prosperous distant farm run by a middle-aged cousin and her husband. She has never met them before, but they greet her with warmth.

After an uncomfortable meal, where her boorish father’s behaviour includes smoking at the table and stubbing a cigarette out on his dinner plate he drives away saying “try not to fall in the fire, you”, forgetting to leave Cait’s suitcase of clothes.



Cait is made welcome by Eibhlen (Carrie Crowley) and Sean (Andrew Bennett), dressed in boy’s clothes until new ones are bought, and treated with a tenderness she has not experienced before. Eibhlen tells her “all you needed was some minding”, while her husband Sean  gradually develops a fond relationship – telling her “many’s the person missed the opportunity to say nothing, and lost nothing because of it.” She blossoms quietly in their care.

Director/writer Colm Bairead based this deeply moving first feature film on a novella called Foster written by Claire Keegan, who was brought up on a farm in Ireland.



Foster was named by the Times as one of the top 50 works of fiction published in the 21stcentury. Its translation to film is beautifully realized with cinematography by Emma Lowney. It will represent Ireland in this year’s Academy awards in the International feature category.

94 minutes.

Partly spoken in Irish and Gaelic with English sub-titles.

The Quiet Girl will be showing at Luna Leederville and Luna SX Fremantle from September 8.


The Irish Film Festival will take place at Palace Cinema Raine Square from August 25  to September 25. The program will showcase the best films Ireland has to offer, including dramas, documentaries, comedies, horror, and family films.


Watch The Quiet Girl Trailer…







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