The fifty-seventh Irish documentary this year continues the rich vein of form: Older Than Ireland is an engaging watch throughout. The dawning realisation one might have during this thoroughly entertaining documentary is not how old these people are and still punching, but how young this country actually is.
lex Fegan takes the same approach as he did to his last documentary, The Irish Pub: pick some interesting faces, put them in front of a static camera, and let them to the talking. Fegan unearths some characters and lets them take the viewer on a verbal tour of the history of 20th century Ireland, both political and personal. Among them are Bressie Nolan, Driminah, 103; Jack Powell, 101, Nenagh; Kathleen Brennan, 100, Longford; and the oldest – New York based Kathleen Snavely, who left Ireland with twenty five dollars in her pocket in the thirties, is a whopping 113.
he socio-political commentary tails off a little the Civil War and it would have been nice if those assembled had more to say about how they witnessed Ireland’s slow change through the fifties, sixties and on but Older Than Ireland will appeal to those who enjoyed the cuddly warmth of His And Hers.