Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Pilgrim Hill

Pilgrim Hill – A Movie about the true side of farming life

Irish farm 1

Yesterday I watched a great review about a new film Pilgrim hill that has been made by young film maker Gerard Barrett in the above video he talks to RTE’s Nationwide about Pilgrim Hill. In cinemas April 12th 2013. Pilgrim Hill is the debut film from Gerard Barrett, winner of the 2013 Irish Film and Television Academy Rising Star Award.

“Jimmy Walsh is a farmer in rural Ireland. Like the landscape he inhabits, his life is bleak and hard. Looking after an ageing sick father, life is passing him by as he comes to terms with his changing circumstances. Loneliness and isolation are his continual companions, along with his modest herd of cattle.

A young twenty something neighbour is one of the only links Jimmy has to the real world. In him, Jimmy sees what he could have been, as he realizes what he is, a middle aged bachelor farmer with vanishing opportunities and on the verge of living the rest of his life alone on the side of a cold un-nourishing hill.

A final blow is dealt to Jimmy when it seems that life can’t get any worse. He is barely able to articulate his situation, yet his honesty and vulnerability speak to the loneliness that haunts the human condition in all of us”

sean neil 3

In and around the area I live in Ireland, Co.Kilkenny there are many Jimmy walsh’s including members of my own family.

sean neil 1

Sean a family friend is one of them, older than Jimmy but he will have travelled through many of the same things in his time.

Many of these farmers never got married and lived out their lives in remote places like this farm Burnchurch in Co.Tipperary.

Irish farm 2

Watching the review of the film last night, I wondered why these men’s lives have not been shown and received much more coverage than they have. Many other nation like the America have shown the hard lives their own famers have lived on the screen for many years, it time these mens live got the same exposure, please go a watch this movie if you can.


9 responses

  1. victoriaaphotography

    Your portrait of Sean is magnificent, full of life and character lines.

    Sounds like a movie I would enjoy – hope many people in your country support it.

    April 12, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    • Thank you Victoria 🙂

      I hope they do go!, its not going to be the most easy film you ever looked at but I really do hope everyone comes out to see this.

      I think for the following reason:

      I have lived here 11 years now and people in rural Ireland have this odd thing going on, that they think that no one would be interested in their lives. A feeling that its all so matter of fact its not worth any interest. Because of this they live lonely existances.

      I would love this to change, I would like very much for these wonderful people to realise just how many people would like to know more about them and let them know that they have been noticed!

      I hope this movie can bring the ordinary lives of Irish Farmers into full view and give them a lift !!

      April 12, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      • victoriaaphotography

        I hope so too, Nigel.
        I’ve always found people living and farming on the land to be fascinating – they’re full of observations about Nature than the city dweller can’t even imagine, let alone notice.

        April 12, 2013 at 1:32 pm

  2. noelgreene

    Nigel. Fantastic Post. My own grandparents lived in rural County Roscommon. They were shopkeepers/Publicans and many of their customers were single farmers living isolated lives like the ones you describe here. As a young boy I remember one of these guys in particular who cycled 10-15 miles to collect his pension. He would have a few glasses of Guinness Stout and would park his bike outside and then sleep in the ditch in the Summer night. Amazing for me to see that life hasn’t changed much for these people. I left Ireland 12 years ago but continue to follow the social aspects of life there. Great great post and thanks for sharing

    April 12, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    • Its a pleasure Noel and I am very pleased you enjoyed this!



      April 12, 2013 at 2:43 pm

  3. great post, I head this guy Gerard on the radio this morning, sounds like a very moving film, and I definitely hope to go see it soon.

    April 12, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    • Thank you Joan….

      Great I think everyone should go, lets support him (Gerard) and help to get the true lives of Irish farming people viewed around the world. Ireland is not about Banks or Money or TD’s or even the church – all the things in recent news, its about ordinary people!

      Thank you Joan for commenting and I hope you enjoy the fillm.


      April 12, 2013 at 3:31 pm

  4. Excellent post.

    April 14, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    • Thanks Allan for your great and welcome comment 🙂 Nigel

      April 14, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.