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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sean Kelly

Hot Docs 2014: Miraculous Tales

Miraculous_Tales

Mickey McGuigan has lived for 73 years in the small village of Carrive in County Armagh, Northern Ireland.  With farming on a downturn, the only booming business in the village is its fireworks factory.  However, McGuigan argues that there is another booming business in the area – cures and miracles.  He has set upon himself to collect stories of healers in the area.  This includes a woman who can stop babies crying with a piece of string and preacher who speaks in tongues and acts as a faith healer.  These tales demonstrate that pagan folklore is alive and well in the modern age.

At the very least, Miraculous Tales is an interesting account of the superstition and folklore that still exists in rural Ireland.  Mickey McGuigan himself is quite the character and is almost what you’d typically expect out of an elderly Irish storyteller.  While many of these “cures” should be taken with a pinch of salt, it is still intriguing to see that these beliefs still exist in the modern age.  One of the most interesting characters in the film is the preacher John Purcell, who believes cures are the work of the devil, yet prays to God with the “gift of tongues” and acts like a faith healer. I’d almost watch an entire documentary about this guy.

While already at a relatively brief length of 57 minutes, Miraculous Tales seems to be scrambing for content when it features scenes of Mickey McGuigan getting cable TV installed or a literal “voice of God” narration.  However, all together this is a decent enough film, which explores the fine line between faith and doubt.

7 | FAIR 

Screenings:

  • Fri, April 25, 3:00 PM – Scotiabank Theatre 4
  • Say, April 26, 9:00 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 4
  • Fri, May 2, 4:30 PM – Scotiabank Theatre 4

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).