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Pavee Lackeen: The Traveller Girl
Pavee Lackeen The Traveller Girl
Actors: Michael Collins, Winnie Maughan, Rosie Maughan, Paddy Maughan, Helen Joyce
Director: Perry Ogden
Genres: Drama
UR     2009     1hr 27min

PAVEE LACKEEN: THE TRAVELLER GIRL is an intimate portrait of Winnie, a resilient and spirited young girl, and her family who are part of Dublin?s traveller community, living in a dilapidated trailer on the side of the road...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Michael Collins, Winnie Maughan, Rosie Maughan, Paddy Maughan, Helen Joyce
Director: Perry Ogden
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Love & Romance
Studio: Synkronized USA
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 08/11/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2005
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 27min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Modern day gypsy tale
Andy | 07/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I got this when last time in Ireland
It follows the daily life of a young traveler girl and her family

The travelers, perhaps Ireland's most Irish yet most marginilized race
This movie or docudrama does not romanticize the gypsy life in the least
There are some sweet humorous moments
yet you do see the poverty,violence and health issues
the traveler's face in these times
Despite this, the Irish states attempts to assimilate
The traveler gypsy population into a normal existence seems awful underhanded
And there relocation of the girl's family does seem more self serving
Image conciousness then actual concern for the travelers
the cast is made up of mostly non professional actors,(Actual travelers most of them) and lead character the traveler girl is played marvelously by Winnie Maughan
this film is so true to the core it seems hard to believe this movie is scripted
I Don't Honestly Know ...
Giordano Bruno | Wherever I am, I am. | 02/28/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"... how to rate such a film as Pavee Lackeen. It's "cinema verite" multiplied, "reality TV" with a brain behind the camera. It's gritty, squalid, and random -- one can hardly believe that it was scripted -- but that's Reality among Ireland's "traveler" population, the precise social equivalent of the people branded as "poor white trash" in the USA. Trailer trash. Some critics have stuck the label "gypsy" on the family presented in the film, but that label is misleading. The girl Winnie, whom the 'camera' follows through a few weeks of her life, is not even lucky enough to be embedded in a tight-knit ethnic community like the Roma. She's just a girl stigmatized and ostracized for the poverty and haplessness of her family - her mother with ten kids at the mercy of agencies, squatting in her trailer on the side of a road in a run-down industrial district of Dublin. How the camera got so intimate with this clump of hopelessness is hard to imagine. We see Winnie fighting on the schoolyard, draggling through shops and beauty parlors, half-listening to the sermons of counselors and social workers, listlessly managing to survive, showing the most spark as she plays with cosmetics and fantasizes a self with the brazen vulgarity of low-life glamor.

The camera work is - deliberately, I assume - as funky as any low-budget TV reality show: poorly-lit, hand-held, off-center and cramped, full of close-ups that seem to focus on facial blemishes and specks of filth. In short, it's of a piece with its subject matter. What makes it bearable is its non-judgmental objectivity. "Bearable" might be the wrong word; this revelation of social anomie is totally disquieting, embarrassing, shaming to anyone who feels that a society of wealth, even modest wealth, has responsibility for its failing members. Winnie's life would be UNbearable for most of us.

Most of the content, both narrative and sociological, of Pavee Lackeen is delivered by the camera. I had a lot of trouble comprehending the dialogue, and not only because of the Irish brogue. The girl Winnie is painfully diffident and apathetic about expressing her thoughts and/or feelings. Most of the characters mumble; most of their words are inconsequential anyway. They really don't believe that they have much to say for themselves, so the camera speaks for them. Subtitles (there aren't any) would only make their incommunicability seem artificial. Faces tell more than words in this 'narrative.'

Above the title on the packaging of this DVD, you'll note that this film has been acclaimed and nominated for more than a dozen awards. I find that odd. I have to wonder why. Is it possibly a manifestation of "our" discomfort with the reality of poverty and marginalization in our midst? I say that as a resident of America, where "denial" is the norm, but Pavee Lackeen exposes that the same sad marginalization persists in Ireland and other lands as well. This is not a film you'll care to see for entertainment; it's a deliberate assault on your conscience, an attempt to make you care, at least abstractly, for people you might shun if you met them on the street."