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The Quiet Girl

Directed by Colm Bairéad
94 minutes
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A moving coming-of-age story. A girl is sent away from her dysfunctional family to live with foster parents. She blossoms, but in a house where there were meant to be no secrets, she discovers one painful truth.
The first Gaelic language feature to compete at Berlin, and winner of seven Irish Film and Television Awards including Best Film, The Quiet Girl portrays the loneliness of an innocent child oblivious to the damage of grief in the adult world around her. Not a second is superfluous in this precise accumulation of sound and image set in 1980s rural Ireland. Deep emotional undercurrents are present, even in the quietest moments of Bairéad’s adaptation of Claire Keegan’s 2010 short story Foster. Child actor Catherine Clinch is simply superb as Cáit, a nine-year-old shunned at school and treated with indifference by her pregnant mother and a father who cares more about gambling than his wife and four daughters. Cáit experiences love and warmth for the first time after being packed off to spend the summer with Eibhlín and Seán, older relatives with a fairy-tale-like dairy farm in Waterford. Words never spoken and sentences left unfinished are just as powerful as the deliberately sparse dialogue as Cáit begins to blossom in the sunshine and discovers a secret with life-affecting consequences. Small, quiet, perfectly formed films like this are a reason to celebrate cinema.  
An unexpectedly beautiful assembly of narrative, image and sound which takes its cue from the title to build quietly to an emotional catharsis.
Fionnuala Halligan, Screen International
The cumulative power of The Quiet Girl means that when that ending duly comes, it’s remarkably moving.
Jessica Kiang, Variety
A gently moving family drama with a big heart.
Rob Aldam, Backseat Mafia

Special Guests

Colm Bairéad
Colm Bairéad was born in Dublin and has made several shorts, TV features and documentaries in Gaelic and English. The Quiet Girl is his first narrative feature.
Cleona Ní Chrualaoi
Cleona Ní Chrualaoi is a producer of flagship programmes for Irish TV, the IFTA-nominated documentary series The Joy and the award-winning feature documentary Lorg na gCos (Finding the Footprints). Cleona set up the production company Inscéal with writer/director Colm Bairéad in 2012 and produced The Quiet Girl (An Cailín Ciúin), which had its world premiere at Berlinale in February 2022 and won the Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus International Jury for Best Film.


Thu 16 Jun
State Theatre
Past Event Cancel
Fri 17 Jun
State Theatre
Past Event Cancel
Sat 18 Jun
Hayden Orpheum Cremorne - Cinema 4
Past Event Cancel
Program Strand
Official Competition
Original Title
An Cailín Ciúin
In English and Irish with English subtitles
Colm Bairéad
Cleona Ní Chrualaoi
Catherine Clinch, Carrie Crowley, Andrew Bennett
Colm Bairéad
Kate McCullough
John Murphy
Australian Premiere
Family, Festival Award Winners
Company Credits
Australian Distributor: Madman Entertainment
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