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Dancing at Lughnasa

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Jonathan Hession


The summer of 1936, when the action of Dancing at Lughnasa takes place, is beautiful, but Europe is on the verge of terrible change.

Through that glorious summer, at the very edge of Europe, in Ballybeg, Donegal, the Mundy family shelter in their small home - five sisters, one brother and Michael, the love child of Christina, the youngest sister.

The film is seen through the eyes of the boy. He feels the joy and security of his close-knit clan, but its secrets and sorrows begin to break through. The arrival of Michael's father, a Welsh man, Gerry Evans, on his way to fight for Franco in Spain, unleashes repressed passion. The Eden of Ballybeg is changed forever.

They meet their fate bravely. The memory of that summer haunts Michael forever, memories of love and loss, of women dancing, dancing as if their lives depend on the dance - and they do.


Type of film
Running Time
99 mins
35mm Kodak
Pat O'Connor
Jane Barclay, Sharon Harel
Director of Photography
Kenneth MacMillan BSC
Principal Cast
Meryl Streep, Michael Gambon, Catherine McCormack, Kathy Burke
Executive Screen Writer
Frank McGuinness


Production status


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Last updated 26th November 2005

Production Company

Ferndale Films
61 Merrion Square
Dublin 2
Tel: 00 3531 676 8890
Fax: 00 3531 676 8874


Capitol Films
23 Queensdale Place
London W11 4SQ
Tel: 020 7471 6000
Fax: 020 7471 6012