Plot & Details
Impoverished Irish moonshiners are the focus of this gritty, bleak drama, allegedly the first motion picture ever shot in Gaelic. Director Bob Quinn reportedly created the work in response to what he perceived as cultural myths propagated by John Ford's movie The Quiet Man (1952) -- some 27 years after that film's production. The title is Gaelic for "moonshine"; Cyril Cusack stars as an unnamed 'poteen-maker' (or whiskey brewer) who distills his fiery liquid near his bayside home, where he lives with his daughter. The premise concerns two ne'er-do-wells who run headfirst into problems with both the law and with Cusack's character. Whatever one's feelings about this picture, its searing and pessimistic view of the Irish is overwhelming. Indeed, Poitin received much criticism for its portrayal of the Irish as no-good, ignorant, bottle-prone louts.