I haven't talked about the films and TV shows I get from Netflix because I don't want to make a regular thing of it. But I just saw a film worth talking about: "Song of the Sea."
Directed by Tomm Moore, who also did "Secret of Kells," it's another venture into Irish folklore. This time, the focus is on a boy named Conor, who lives in a coastal lighthouse with his father and little sister Saoirse (pronounced "Circe" like the enchantress from the Odyssey). After a flashback to the night Saoirse was born and his mother disappeared, we see that the sibs don't get along and Conor doesn't warm up to Saoirse. We also learn (not much of a spoiler if you're up on Irish legends) that Saoirse is a selkie as was her mother.
The plot has the children shipped off to the mainland but trying to get back home. On the way, they connect with elements of Irish legend, some benevolent and some not. As with "Secret of Kells," the realm of the fae is always close at hand.
In a major theme of the film, one that's been recurring quite a bit lately, one of the dangers to Saoirse comes from an old crone who, well-meaning or not, would suck the life out of her by bottling away her emotions. I immediately thought of "Frozen" and its "conceal/don't feel" bit of bad advise, as well as the "tyranny" of Joy from "Inside/Out" and not letting Sadness catch a break. I don't know if there's something in the air but I couldn't help but pick up on it.
I won't say any more about the story but it's a good one. There's a fair bit of Celtic music in the film, with a melancholy quality to it. As G. K. Chesterton put it: "For the Great Gaels of Ireland / Are the men that God made mad, / For all their wars are merry / And all their songs are sad." And speaking for myself, I'll admit, in the words of Wreck-It Ralph, "some tears were shed."
Very much recommended.