This observational documentary, with a soundtrack by Donal Lunny, captures the hustle and bustle of Ireland’s first suburban shopping centre, Dunnes Stores, Cornelscourt. While the first modern shopping centres emerged in the United States in the 1920s, it was the 1960s before they began to pop up in Europe. In Ireland they generally appeared in the suburbs, designed with vast car parks to accommodate shoppers with a newfound desire to travel by car. Ciall Cheannaigh begins as early morning shoppers pull into the car park and ends as they drive away at dusk. In between, it captures the minutiae of food, fashion and family as mothers, fathers, babies, teenagers, smokers, and priests and their housekeepers wander through the aisles. Over a sprightly soundtrack, the film offers a fascinating picture of suburban life in late-1960s Dublin. Ciall Cheannaigh won the 1970 Oireachtas competition, adjudicated by filmmakers Louis Marcus and Robert Monks.
This film is part of The Guinness Film Society Film Group Collection. To see more from this collection, click here.