Dir. Katrina Costello, Ireland, 2017, 75 Min
The Silver Branch is a philosophical vision-poem on the life of farmer/poet Patrick McCormack, a descendant of the generations of farmers who have lived off the wild landscape of the Burren in County Clare. In April 1991, the Government announced the establishment of a national park in the Burren and construction of a £2.7 million interpretative centre. The Burren Action Group took a case against the Government to halt proceedings in order to maintain the natural integrity of the landscape and to protect the environment. They viewed the Burren and the area of Mullaghmore as a “sacred site”, a holy ground that needed to be defended – especially in a country whose sites of profound historical importance are rapidly disappearing. Patrick and his community are drawn into a divisive battle, leading them to the Supreme Court to decide on the fate of this iconic wilderness. Through Patrick’s eyes, and in his words, this beautifully shot film immerses us in the exquisite texture of the natural world, bringing us a rare glimpse of a disappearing way of life with all its richness and roguery, and leading to a deep connection with the Earth and our ancestral wild spirit.
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