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Merrow [Baz Black, Republic of Ireland, 2020]

Merrow by Baz Black is a short film – just over six and a half minutes in length – which shows the audience the beauty of Ireland. The film takes its inspiration from Irish mythology, demonstrating the beautiful singing voice and scaly skin of the eponymous creature, as well as the eeriness surrounding her.

The film begins with establishing shots of the landscape, before revealing a young lady sitting by the sea, where she meets the Merrow. As we learn from young lady’s diary entries, she is not originally from this rural locale but, rather, from the city, the legend of the Merrow not a subject of her awareness.

The film contains beautiful shots of waves crashing on rocks, boats, a lighthouse, and even a seal. Much credit goes to cinematographers, Baz Black and Emma Ray. The music in the film creates an atmosphere that seduces and engrosses the audience throughout the film’s duration and, in one instance, there is even a song that is sung in Irish Gaelic. The fact that the song was sung in this rarely used language imbues the story with earnestness and authenticity, and it is a joy to hear. The film is narrated wonderfully by Gerry Cannon with a poem penned by Black.

With exception of the singing and narration, the film contains no dialogue, which gives the film more resonance, especially when we take into consideration the leisurely pace of the film. Clodagh Finnegan gives a gentle performance, whilst Aine Flanagan proves a haunting foil, the two performances perfectly complementing each other due to their contrasting natures.

Baz Black dedicates the film to the person who used to tell him these stories: his granddad. Merrow is a short film to behold, especially for those keen on Irish mythology, and should be shared with everyone to keep the legend alive.


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