This is a strange -- and strangely enchanting -- uniquely Irish retelling of the Cinderella story; the plot is is laced with Celtic mythology and 1920s politics, and it's filled with classic Gaelic imagery while also playing as a symbolic drama. Pattie MacNamara plays Emralila, a poor waif who is servant to "an Ulster crag" (W. Calhoun) and her two horrible daughters (Delia Cogham, Elizabeth O'Hara); she is rescued from her life of misery with help from an array of Celtic mythological figures, who do battle with "the Spirit of England" (depicted as a demonic figure, complete with horns) and eventually destroy them. The silent film, made in Ireland at the time that "the Troubles" were coming to a full boil, is a strange mix of myth, politics, and symbolism, vaguely similar to -- of all things -- Masahiro Shinoda's 1980 feature Demon Pond. Some of the characterizations, such as they are, will seem dated and stereotyped, but, overall, it is a fascinating document of its period and place of origin.
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