Read Joy Porter’s essay on ‘The dangerous myth-making in the Banshees of Inisherin’ on the Spectator Life (21 February 2023)
… the film’s miniature donkey is the true star of the show. And this is not only because she is cute. Her unlikely presence alerts us to the dangerously ahistorical myth-making at the film’s heart – the elision and ridiculing of the circumstances that led to the Irish Civil War from 28 June 1922 to 24 May 1923. That conflict, so costly to Ireland in life and treasure, is the backdrop to the film’s narrative depiction of senseless self-harm, abuse and violence. The film directly links life on Inisherin to the larger conflict and makes one overall message clear. It is that the Irish Civil War – a battle over the terms of a treaty with the British crown that ensured six of Ireland’s counties remained under British control – was futile.