Ireland/Sweden, 2008, 76 minutes
Mon, Apr 27 / 9:00 / Kabuki / KISS27K
Tue, Apr 28 / 6:30 / Kabuki / KISS28K
Thu, Apr 30 / 9:15 / Kabuki / KISS30K
Children have it tough in this bitter, bright and winning film from Ireland. Young teens Dylan and his neighbor Kylie live for the day they can make a break from their abusive families and bleak suburban housing estate. That day comes sooner, and more violently, than expected, and they head for the lights and perils of inner-city Dublin in search of Dylan’s brother, who escaped the parental kip two years earlier. The journey begins poetically—an immigrant barge driver offers them “Shelter from the Storm,” both the song and the succor—and continues magically, with Dublin’s nighttime neon offering an innocently psychedelic funhouse of possibility. Friendly buskers share their change, a prostitute her advice (“When you kiss, you either give or you take”). But as the night progresses, the “sack man,” the bogeyman of their imaginations, makes himself all too real. Dylan (Shane Curry), wary of risk and joy, is the gullible one—he won’t understand that his brother has disappeared in the quicksand of drugs and its attendant criminal network. Kylie (Kelly O’Neill), intrepid and no-nonsense, takes the emotional risks as well. O’Neill is an actress to watch for her unerring gift of dialogue and her defiant intelligence. Though the children are returned to the grim black-and-white universe of their parents, the kiss Kylie blows Dylan says that, given time, she’ll will the world to come around to her.