Hovering on the cusp of docu and fiction, photographer Perry Ogden's helming debut "Pavee Lackeen: The Traveller Girl" offers a graceful portrait of tough little soul from Ireland's itinerant community. A hard-sell to viewers even in Ireland, pic looks destined to move its caravan around the fest circuit before settling down on TV.

Hovering on the cusp of docu and fiction, photographer Perry Ogden’s helming debut “Pavee Lackeen: The Traveller Girl” offers a graceful portrait of tough little soul from Ireland’s itinerant community. Getting impressive results from a mini DV camera and a mixed cast of pros and non-pros, Ogden crafts an unsentimental depiction of the impoverished traveler lifestyle, one blighted both by prejudices from outsiders and the community’s own self-destructive tendencies. A hard-sell to viewers even in Ireland, pic looks destined to move its caravan around the fest circuit before settling down on TV.

Like the title character in “Rosetta” who wants a job but can’t keep one, inquisitive 10-year-old Winnie (Winnie Maughan) wants to learn but gets expelled from school for fighting. With little to do in the trailer she shares with her alcoholic mother (Rose Maughan) and many siblings, Winnie kills time trudging around Dublin’s suburbs or sniffing solvents. When the town council offers the family an apartment in a rough area miles away, her mother refuses. Eventually evicted, they have to move to a new site without running water. Despite minimal budget, tech package is solid.

Pavee Lackeen: The Traveller Girl

Ireland

Production

An An Lar Films production. (International sales: An Lar, Dublin.) Produced by Perry Ogden, Martina Niland. Directed by Perry Ogden. Screenplay, Ogden, Mark Venner.

Crew

Camera (color, DV-to-35mm), Ogden; editor, Breege Rowley; production-costume designer, Susie Isherwood. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Critics Week), Sept. 1, 2005. (Also in Toronto Film Festival -- Discovery.) Running time: 87 MIN.

With

Winnie Maughan, Rose Maughan, Rosie Maughan, Paddy Maughan, Michael Collins, Helen Joyce, Abbie Spallen.
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