It’s late November in a quiet little Irish town, and the expectations of the impending festive season are growing. Christmas trees are being bought, festive music turned up and presents scrambled for. It’s all getting very bright and loud, excessive and expensive.
“So this is Christmas” takes us on a heartening and emotional journey with five ordinary characters as they navigate personal dilemmas triggered by this overwhelming time of year. Amid their everyday lives and struggles, we discover stories of extraordinary resilience and humble bravery.
The story is brought to life in a creative documentary form, where characters’ lives interweave with a colourful tapestry of Christmas scenes. Beyond the façade of tinsel and celebration, the film explores the deeper complexities that emerge when expectations collide with reality. What transpires is an important social commentary, filled with humour yet tinged with tragedy that will leave audiences questioning the true meaning of Christmas.
Joe and Kate Ruttledge have returned from London to live and work among the small, close-knit community near to where Joe grew up. Now deeply embedded in life around the lake, the drama of a year in their lives and those of the memorable characters around them unfolds through the rituals of work, play and the passing seasons as this enclosed world becomes an everywhere.
Ballywalter follows a university drop-out living with her mum and making money as an unlicensed minicab driver, who picks up a budding stand-up comic whose marriage has recently broken up.
Seamus Murphy’s curious camera roams the deep terrain of cult Irish writer Pat Ingoldsby’s unique world. Ingoldsby’s poems and candid anecdotes bear witness to a visceral relationship with his beloved Dublin, fellow Dubliners and anything that catches his interest. He joyfully slices through artifice and pomposity with the steel of Jonathan Swift and the imagination of Flann O’Brien. Personal challenges, a sensitive humanity and a lifetime of being a maverick have taught him to reach beyond reality and avenge the banal with absurd magic. It heals him as it can us.