IFTA Best Film 2019 | The Dig

Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos

Directed by Andy and Ryan Tohill

Convicted murderer Callahan returns home having served fifteen years in prison to find the distraught father of his victim, Sean, desperately upturning Callahan’s bog in hope of finding the body. However, when Callahan reports the trespassing to the police, he soon realises that his plight is disregarded by the Gardaí and the community. He remembers nothing of the murder, and has no option but to help Sean aimlessly dig through the bog. Sean’s concerned daughter, Roberta, witnesses this aberrant bond these men have together, as they search for closure in the land. 

The Dig imbued the suspense one would expect from an arthouse film. This film deals with the nuances of grief, acceptance, and empathy. Loran Cranitch’s powerful deliverance of a mourning father’s frantic attempts in reconciling his daughter’s death, offers a raw view of the impact a murder has on the family of the bereaved, a depiction not often seen in cinema. Moe Dunford’s portrayal of a man driven demented by his past, was one of the most emphatic displays of acting I have seen all year. The relationship between Cranitch, and Dunford is tense, as these two fragile men embark on the harrowing journey of locating the body of a woman they both loved. The film effectively conveyed the suspense of a murder investigation, through skilled cinematography, and a script which allowed the audience to form their own opinion of the nuanced characters.

Return to: IFTA Best Film Nominations