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Why this film has to get at least five Oscars

Let's assume we live where many people live in Germany.

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Why this film has to get at least five Oscars

Let's assume we live where many people live in Germany. In a small community somewhere in the middle of quite a bit of territory. Everyone knows everyone, knows everything about everyone. What you have to prevent in any case has nothing to do with xenophobia. But with self-protection.

You have to prevent a 1.85 meter tall man with an Irish accent from moving there. Slim, sparse hair, matching beard. He laughs a lot. The man's name is Martin McDonagh.

He does what German cinema has been reluctant to do for a long time: films about people in small communities in the middle of quite a lot of countryside. In which everyone knows everyone and everyone knows everything about everyone. And in which something happens and in the end everyone sees what really makes them special, the community and the people.

Martin McDonagh goes somewhere, looks around, collects whatever hazardous materials are lying around, and then, little by little, he detonates everything. It is always very true. Sometimes that's not nice. At least not for the communities. For everyone in the cinema, yes.

Martin McDonagh's big world theater of supposedly small people is always a candidate for all sorts of film awards. Whether the supposedly little people live in Missouri and in the present or on an Irish island and in 1923.

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri won two Oscars. It is unlikely that McDonagh's archaic male drama "The Banshees of Inisherin" will leave the hall with less in March.

However, the thing about the Oscars would not do the Vordereifel any good if McDonagh were to collect the material for his next provincial world theater in a village somewhere between Mayen and Monschau. Touristy anyway. Even after two Oscars, nobody wants to go to Missouri.

Even though. It is said that there were actually people who, as soon as they had the bloody "Banshees" behind them, decided to book themselves for the next vacation on one of the Irish islands. On Acaill for example. Ireland's largest island. Acaill is an inisher in Martin McDonagh's film. McDonagh is well acquainted with the Irish islands. He spent much of his summers on the Arran Islands as a child.

Of course, going to Acaill is still a mistake. Not only because, apart from green hills and rugged rocks, probably not much is the same as it was in the days when the pretty best buddies Colm and Pádraic, who ended every day God let come, ended up in Inisherin's pub , unfriended.

A trip to Ireland would also be a mistake, because the story of Colm and Pádraic – perhaps at a different time – would have been possible in one way or another between Schäng and Jupp in Moselsürsch. As a chamber play of an exploding male friendship, “The Banshees of Inisherin” is in fact something like the authentic, Guinness-dripping concretion of a universal, placeless endgame in Beckettian style.

The year is 1923. Civil war is raging over on the Irish mainland. Every now and then you hear the thunder. Nothing is as easy as it was back then, they say on Inisherin, when there was just the British and the Irish and nothing in between. At least not for the people of Inisherin.

Pádraic is a soul of guy. He has a hut, a beautiful little donkey, a small farm and Siobhán, a sister who is smarter and wants more out of life than he does. To which not much belongs.

Pádraic's intellectual horizon doesn't extend much further than the edge of a beer mat. He could sit in the pub drinking Guinness until he sinks into his grave, exchanging banalities until sundown. He is fine.

Colm is his best friend (and his only one). At least it was until the day the “Banshees of Inisherin” began. Colm's house hangs on the slope above the sea like the house of the lonely girl in Brahms's song, who presumably sews a wedding dress in vain and which Juliane Banse sings about in the "Banshees".

Padraic knocks. He does that every day. Colm is there but doesn't open the door. Colm never opens again. He wants nothing more to do with Pádraic. Colm is not the youngest anymore. He's running out of time. He doesn't want to waste them.

Wants to leave a lasting legacy. Compose. Pádraic's pub ramblings are a waste of time, he's realised. He doesn't tell poor Pádraic that. Just to leave him alone.

What he doesn't. Because without Colm he walks around like a headless chicken. With really big eyes and an even greater horror on his face - Colin Farrell would have deserved an Oscar for that alone. Pádraic just can't believe it. He runs against this wall of silence.

Even when Colm threatens to take the rusty sheep shears and cut off a finger for every time Pádraic talks to him. Regardless of the fiddle, which he likes to torment in the pub together with music researchers who have traveled there.

Brendan Gleeson stalks Inisherin like a sinister brother to the Mad Eye Moody he was in Harry Potter. Grumpy, grumpy, a wall of man. Brendan Gleeson deserved the Oscar too.

So gradually everything escalates under the eyes of everyone. Severed fingers fly against front doors, animals die, a hut on a slope burns down. It must have been something like that, back then, deep in southern Europe, when the family feuds started, the true causes of which nobody knows and doesn't want to know anymore, but which still claim fatalities.

Jessye Norman sings Brahms. About a poor soul that no one likes, not the mother, who also has no treasure, and about the grave of a girl not weeping for. The Banshees of Inisherin is an incredibly funny and infinitely sad film. One would like to grab the two defiant heads and bang their foreheads against each other. Or hold her in your arms. It probably wouldn't do any good.

Also not because Martin McDonagh, who should have received at least two Oscars for the "Banshees" himself, of course not only talks about the two karstic men in the trenches of their existence. Colm and Pádraic trundle at each other like two stags in the rutting season, but also across various sub-stories that make “The Banshees of Inisherin” a melancholic micrograph of a presumably global community. And about how latent violence damages everyone's relationships.

How – partly because of this – families are jagged like the coast in front of Colm's hut, not a single one that isn't missing something, not some wound is festering. How there are still outsiders even in this community of stubborn, staunchly silent misfits and how one becomes one. How loneliness makes people whimsical and susceptible to hubris and self-destructive madness.

That the mythical times, the times of ghostly women who see more, know more, were not over, at least in 1923. The fact that McDonagh included these banshees in the title, those Celtic banshees who are sent from the afterlife to announce the impending death to the living, is not a good sign anyway. Fortunately, on this side of the Emerald Isle, hardly anyone knows how to read.

What everyone in this country can of course read at the moment is what Martin McDonagh could not have known when he wrote his drama about the “Banshees” in 1994 – when he was only 24 – in his theater miracle year (in which seven plays were created); it was never performed because at first he thought it was too bad.

And not even when they were filming on Acaill and Árainn a year and a half ago. That "Banshees of Inisherin", this big civil war on a small scale, which explodes out of nowhere and out of the supposed peace, naturally works perfectly as a reflection of that global political escalation that broke out out of nowhere and the supposed peace in Eastern Europe.

The "Banshees" only make you smarter to a limited extent. It should have been known beforehand that men are strange creatures and dangerous to themselves. Also that everything would probably be different if women like Pádraic's sister Siobhán (Kelly Condon could also go home with an Oscar) didn't have to look for happiness in the distance.

Maybe Martin McDonagh should be allowed into every village after all. That's not really understood. In the country and in the city.

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