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Grainne Uaile: The Movie

Grainne Uaile - the Movie

Grainne Uaile – the Movie

“…A director of thieves and murderers at sea”….

Who doesn’t like pirates, right? How about an Irish female pirate? Loose Gripp Films is about to tell the tale with its latest offering: Grainne Uaile: the Movie

Who was Grainne Uaile? 

Grainne Uaile, also known as Grace O’ Malley, was accused of piracy and lived from 1530 – 1603. She inherited her father’s shipping company when he died and became a very wealthy woman. Legend has it that she cut off all her hair because her father refused to allow her to sail with him. He claimed her hair was too long and would get caught in the ropes of the ship. At this time, it was also considered bad luck to have a woman onboard at sea. Grainne’s drastic response earned her the nickname, “Grainne Mhaol” maol, meaning bald; the name stuck and eventually became “Graineuaile”. She was known for her battle prowess and cut throat fighting tactics at sea and also known by her nickname, “The Sea Queen of Connacht”. Grainne even met Queen Elizabeth I to petition for the release of her sons and her half brother.

Grainne lived at a time when the Tudor Conquest of Ireland was underway and spent much of her life fighting English incursion into her lands. She married twice and bore four children, three sons and a daughter, however, Grainne was often accused of being promiscuous as she took a lover after the death of her second husband. She was known as a fearless leader and managed to fend off and English siege of her castle. She attacked many ships, fortresses and castles along the Irish coast. Her life has taken on mythological proportions in her native Ireland, becoming like a Renaissance version of Boudica. She is considered a heroic figure and has been immortalised in the works of Irish author, Anne Chambers.  She has also been the inspiration for poems, ballads, featured in books like James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake and numerous theatre productions.

Fionnuala Collins as Grainne Uaile

Fionnuala Collins as Grainne Uaile

The Movie

Loose Gripp Films have taken on this famed irish tale and filmed a version of Grainne Uaile’s story. Directed by Ciaron Davies, the movie began filming in the summer of 2013 across Ireland. The movie is being pitched as a, “Savage, ruthless and gritty film exploring the life of this extraordinary woman…”. This is basically a biographical piece, starting with Grainne’s childhood, then moving onto her life as a married woman, her move into politics, her battles against the encroachment of the Englsih and her meeting with Queen Elizabeth I. The movie attempts to cover seventy years in the span of three hours. Davies was interested in portraying a strong woman on film, not one who is only used as plot device, or a love interest. He wanted to tell a story about a woman who was empowering. The movie’s style has been billed as the ‘atmosphere of a Celtic Western’ full of fighting, and fast paced battle scenes. All the actors in this film performed their own stunts with a gruelling film schedule. The movie will be released shortly and is currently in post production. This trailer was just released in August:

For more information about this movie, please visit the website: www.grainneuailethemovie.com

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Follow the movie on Twitter: @UaileGrainne

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