Spotlight: Homecoming

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Director: Sinéad O’Loughlin

Starring: David Greene, Johanna O’Brien

Review Author: Tony

It has certainly been a while since our last Spotlight but it has also been a far busier first half of 2018 than expected. We’ve also had the advantage of being approached by filmmakers in the past saving us time in searching for and contacting each project. This is an issue we aim to rectify by being proactive and searching for content rather than waiting for it to come to us. Of course, if any aspiring filmmakers want us to take a look at their work please let us know as this space is for you guys.

The initial idea behind Spotlight was to start with domestic (Irish) filmmakers and branch out on a more global scale from there. Fortunately, we had a couple of directors approach us from various countries with their short films. Recently we came across an Irish short film called Homecoming. We had actually spotted the Twitter page a few months ago so once we saw it had a limited release online we grabbed the popcorn and kicked the feet up.

Homecoming follows Mick, a young man caught in the monotony of rural life as he labors his families farmland. Feeling caught in a rut with little options in his hometown and not much work in Dublin, Mick carries a lot of resentment as most his friends have emigrated or left town. Mick’s spirits are lifted when he comes across and old friend, Aoife, who moved away herself. Both are happy to see each other and bond over past memories and those that they lost.

Hats off to Sinéad O’Loughlin for expertly capturing the feeling of isolation and lack of options faced by young people in rural Ireland after the Irish financial crisis. It’s a sad reality that still faces many of Ireland’s young people who do not have the means to find work in their hometowns or have the options to find work further afield. Mick’s rant about post Celtic Tiger really hits home and you can feel his anger.

Homecoming is a wonderful little character study that presents a past, present and future for Mick in a brief encounter with an old friend. Aoife is able to instantly bring the friendlier and humourous nature out of Mick as it becomes obvious that they share a mutual attraction. The dialogue flows seamlessly as both recall a whole history in a brief conversation. David Greene and Johanna O’Brien do a great job as the only two characters to appear in the short and have a tangible chemistry.

It’s easy to see how Homecoming has become an award-winning short film and received plenty of invitations to various festival screenings. It’s well shot and well written with a poignant and relevant theme for many young people in Ireland.

You can follow the short film’s Twitter page for news and updates @homecomingshort.

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