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Review: Coming Home takes a leisurely look at the return of Irish emigrants

Coming Home follows a select group of Irish emigrants on their journey back to the Emerald Isle.

2.5 out of 4 stars

Title
Coming Home
Directed by
Cathal Kenna
Starring
Clare Waldron, Gerard Ward, Vera Finnegan, Tom O’Brien
Genre
Documentary
Classification
G
Country
Ireland
Language
English
Year
2016

On St. Patrick's Day, everyone is Irish, but there are millions who are that all year long. Some of them even live in Ireland. Many don't, having emigrated from the Emerald Isle for this reason or that, often having to do with harsh economic realities or grievous potato situations. In his debut feature, Coming Home, the Dublin-based Cathal Kenna offers a placid, leisurely documentary about a small collection of Irish emigrants. A handful have decided to return home after years away, while one expat in Australia decides she cannot. And one young lad is just leaving – he has a good job, but he still can't afford Dublin. Their stories are well told, but there's little drama. A magazine article probably would have sufficed just as well as a full-length doc. That being said, the tone is agreeable – a love letter not overromanticized. Ultimately, we find out that home is more about family and friends than geography and culture, and that the time away from Tipperary is too long for some but just right for others.

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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