Pilgrim Hill

A massive tragedy told in a minor key, Gerard Barrett's invisibly scripted debut captures the plight of bachelor farmers in rural Ireland -- decent men who endure hardscrabble conditions with no kin to benefit from their efforts.

With:
With: Joe Mullins, Muiris Crowley, Corina Gough, Kevin McCormack.

A massive tragedy told in a minor key, “Pilgrim Hill” captures the plight of bachelor farmers in rural Ireland — decent men who endure hardscrabble conditions with no kin to benefit from their efforts. For the better part of Gerard Barrett’s invisibly scripted debut, the only person onscreen is forlorn-looking Jimmy Walsh (Joe Mullins), who shares his life with a sick, offscreen father and nearly 20 head of cattle. Sampling introspective moments from the man’s mostly solitary existence without ever slipping into tedium, this understated examination of a very specific microcosm features universal enough themes to move auds everywhere it travels.

Whatever rough edges the film may show can easily be forgiven upon learning that Barrett shot the feature for less than $6,000 over seven virtually sunless days. The result feels like pure documentary for the first hour or so, an illusion heightened by the helmer’s decision to intercut Jimmy’s routine — tending the cows, selling the milk in town, silently watching television — with a somber oncamera interview. Substituting for more traditional narration, this odd confessional footage heightens the pic’s naturalistic approach, making the unlucky breaks that follow feel more true-to-life.

Pilgrim Hill

Ireland

Production: A Nine Studios and Irish Film Board presentation. Produced, directed, written, edited by Gerard Barrett.

Crew: Camera (color, DV, widescreen), Ian D. Murphy. Reviewed at Telluride Film Festival, Sept. 2, 2012. (Also in Galway Film Festival.) Running time: 78 MIN.

Cast: With: Joe Mullins, Muiris Crowley, Corina Gough, Kevin McCormack.

More Scene

  • SAG Awards Prep

    Sneak Peek at 2018 SAG Awards Post-Show Gala

    A massive tragedy told in a minor key, “Pilgrim Hill” captures the plight of bachelor farmers in rural Ireland — decent men who endure hardscrabble conditions with no kin to benefit from their efforts. For the better part of Gerard Barrett’s invisibly scripted debut, the only person onscreen is forlorn-looking Jimmy Walsh (Joe Mullins), who […]

  • Sundance Parties

    Sundance 2018: The Insider's Party Guide

    A massive tragedy told in a minor key, “Pilgrim Hill” captures the plight of bachelor farmers in rural Ireland — decent men who endure hardscrabble conditions with no kin to benefit from their efforts. For the better part of Gerard Barrett’s invisibly scripted debut, the only person onscreen is forlorn-looking Jimmy Walsh (Joe Mullins), who […]

  • '12 Strong' film premiere

    '12 Strong': Chris Hemsworth Hopes Film Can Reduce 'Misconceptions' About Afghanistan

    A massive tragedy told in a minor key, “Pilgrim Hill” captures the plight of bachelor farmers in rural Ireland — decent men who endure hardscrabble conditions with no kin to benefit from their efforts. For the better part of Gerard Barrett’s invisibly scripted debut, the only person onscreen is forlorn-looking Jimmy Walsh (Joe Mullins), who […]

  • Guillermo del Toro, Greta Gerwig and

    Timothée Chalamet Says He'd Love to Work With Christopher Nolan or Guillermo del Toro

    A massive tragedy told in a minor key, “Pilgrim Hill” captures the plight of bachelor farmers in rural Ireland — decent men who endure hardscrabble conditions with no kin to benefit from their efforts. For the better part of Gerard Barrett’s invisibly scripted debut, the only person onscreen is forlorn-looking Jimmy Walsh (Joe Mullins), who […]

  • Tracee Ellis Ross

    Tracee Ellis Ross at Image Makers Awards: 'Clothing Started as Armor for Me'

    A massive tragedy told in a minor key, “Pilgrim Hill” captures the plight of bachelor farmers in rural Ireland — decent men who endure hardscrabble conditions with no kin to benefit from their efforts. For the better part of Gerard Barrett’s invisibly scripted debut, the only person onscreen is forlorn-looking Jimmy Walsh (Joe Mullins), who […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content