Man of Aran [VHS] ~ Colman 'Tiger' King (actor) Cover Art

Man of Aran [VHS]

Colman 'Tiger' King (actor), Maggie Dirrane (actor) and Robert Flaherty (director)

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While it stretches the definition of documentary, Robert Flaherty''s Man of Aran remains a triumph of poetic imagery, and one of the greatest nonfiction films ever made. Critic Pauline Kael hailed it as "the greatest film tribute to man''s struggle against hostile nature," referring to conditions faced by bold residents of the Aran Islands, 30 miles offshore from Galway, Ireland, amidst the harshest seas of the Atlantic. Flaherty and his tiny crew spent over two years on the islands, chronicling the rugged lives of the Araners on a landscape so rocky that seaweed is used as improvised soil. Flaherty cast the film with assorted locals and recreated anachronistic events (such as the harpooning of a basking shark) from Aran''s past, inviting controversy over the film''s authenticity. That debate continues on this DVD''s exceptional bonus features (for retrospective insight, "How the Myth Was Made" is every bit as good as Flaherty''s film), but Man of Aran is, and always will be, a timeless record of extraordinary people, miraculously surviving in a most extraordinary place. --Jeff Shannon

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