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Supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI's Film Audience Network, and funded by Screen Scotland and National Lottery Funding from the BFI

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"Hardwicke and Galligan perform the dance with much charm. Rather than heavy-handed life lessons, they point with disarming simplicity the way to a fresh new dawn."


Director : Robert Higgins

Starring : Éanna Hardwicke   
Danielle Galligan    
Lorcan Cranitch
1 hr  40 min    

A small story about a big event in one man’s life, Lakelands is a carefully tuned, low key piece of cinema with fine work from all involved. It’s the story of a Gaelic football player who sustains a life-changing injury, but it’s also a commentary on what it means to be a man in a society where masculinity is understood almost exclusively in terms of the physical, and on the new direction which Ireland is finding for itself as the world changes.

Éanna Hardwicke plays Cian, the best player in his team and constantly under pressure because of it. Gaelic football is more than just a game to him, and more than just a chance to make something if his talent – it’s the only real opportunity available at all in his remote rural location. The alternative is labouring all day just to scratch a living on the family dairy farm, whose struggles have his father (Lorcan Cranitch) constantly on edge. He has to ride for an hour on the bus to reach anywhere where there’s more going on, and it’s on one such adventure, in search of a few drinks and some dancing, that he’s beaten up in an alley, changing everything.

At first it seems like the kind of thing which a strong willed young man might take in his stride. Bumps are bruises mostly – medical attention needed and a couple of days’ rest, and then he’s back on his feet and back on the pitch. But something is wrong. He gets headaches, dizzy spells, nausea. Grace (Danielle Galligan), a former schoolfriend who is back in the area for a lengthy visit, suggests that he might have a concussion. The doctors confirm it and say he’ll probably feel fine in a few days. He doesn’t. Gradually it becomes apparent that the extent of his injury is more serious.

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