an Irish music documentary
On the west coast of Ireland, a community of musicians seek connection and joy through music as they face a modernizing world.
Past Screenings & Awards:
Galway Film Fleadh – Best International Documentary award-winner – July 2022
DOC NYC – world premiere – Nov 2021
Newport Beach Film Fest – Oct 2022
Indie Memphis Film Festival – Oct 2022
IndieCork Film Festival – Oct 2022
Milwaukee Film Festival – April 2022
Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival – Nov 2021
Culture Night – Kilkee, Co. Clare, Ireland – Sept 2022
Irish American Heritage Museum – Albany, NY, USA – Nov 2022
FCJ Spirituality House – Spanish Point, Co. Clare, Ireland – Nov 2022
The Job of Songs was born of a feeling. When I traveled to Ireland for the first time, chasing my ancestral roots, I stepped into a session in Doolin, County Clare and the feeling overwhelmed me. I could not describe it in words, yet there was something so important and gripping in those moments spent in the pub. The community. The history. The music. It did not leave me. I wanted to capture this feeling the best way I know how – and so this film came into being.
We spent time in County Clare getting to know the musicians and music lovers of the area, hearing stories and forging relationships. We were so fortunate to earn people's trust and time and spent four weeks exchanging stories and tunes with the vibrant community.
My grandmother says that the Irish keep everything inside, never burst, and then die. That’s how it was when she was being raised by Irish immigrants in Chicago, and that’s how it was when her parents were being raised in Kerry, Ireland: just don’t say anything. And so, music is a way for us to unleash our feelings so that we may express the unspoken. Luka Bloom says, “The job of songs can sometimes be to entertain, but it's this thing of giving people who don't have songs permission to feel things that are really deeply ingrained in them – that they don't necessarily intellectually understand.” Music grants us this freedom in ways that benefit not only ourselves but also those in our communities. It is creation, not destruction. I’d like to describe the feeling that led me here, but as is the nature of the beast, words do not capture, so I present to you The Job of Songs.
- Lila Schmitz, Director