There is always a bit of excitement when a new movement designed to break the shackles of conventional and sensationalized traditions of multi-million dollar, mind-numbing industries is born. Irish film director, Graham Jones, has accomplished just this with his Nuascannán film style, an independent film movement battling the similar demons musical creatives often do: against the acquisitive industry giants that often turn down thought-provoking scripts for bells and whistles.Graham Jones, who’s digital film making approach cuts out many of the middle men, and the abhorring costs of traditional film making, brings us a very human story of Nola (Caoihme Cassidy), a young woman who finds herself homeless after running away from the estate she was brought up on by less than functional parents. Caoihme adds an authenticity to this character, and I commend her for making Nola so engaging.
This is by no means a sub-standard piece, or film pitying the crippling female condition society has forced upon women. It is an inspirational story of a woman, similar to many in the world today, who is internally revolting against the barbaric expectations coerced upon her by a mother whose values override female individuality, and enforce the importance of always being appealing to men, ingraining in her that a woman must be a man’s play thing, at his beck and call.
What I find most beautiful about this film besides the character Nola, is that it was written by Graham Jones himself. It touches me as a female to receive such consideration by a male in a world where self-loathing is promoted through ‘thigh gaps’ and ‘plastic surgery’ for the sake of catching the male eye.
Nola is a revolutionary female character, and in one scene she tells a predatory male (the clone), cleverly played throughout the film by Joseph Lydon as the various ‘clones’, that she does not wish to be a woman. I hung on to every line in this film, anticipating each reaction. As a female myself, I rebelled from a young age against similar values growing up in a traditional Central American family that to this day believes in the importance of the male figurehead. In fact, I found this completely to be an accurate representation of what it is to be a woman in such situations; perhaps less harrowing than real life can be at times. It is a dangerous world out there for women who challenge institutions and the traditional male roles of society.
Graham injects several implied scenes that address social conditioning throughout the daily routines Nola’s uses to occupy herself and survive. Ironically, she cannot escape having to exercise ‘street smarts’ through means of prostitution to find comfort and warmth at despairing times during the Irish winters.
Nola and the Clones is a film that will connect to both men and women, and hopefully plants seed of compassion in both.
Irish Film director Graham Jones discusses Nuascannan film making