Sundance Film Festival, Seattle International, Galway

Director's statement

Director's statement

I’m from rural Ireland. After university, I moved to Dublin. The first thing I was struck by was kids parenting their own parents. Some mothers and fathers depended on their kids to pick up the pieces and to parent them – a complete reversal of roles. I found it absolutely fascinating. I saw teenagers and even older children dragging their parents home, some battling drug and alcohol addictions. These kids have seen and experienced more than they should have to and have been forced to grow up quickly. Put yourself in their shoes, waking up every morning, not knowing what the day was going to throw at you and if your parent was going to come home or not or in what physical state? And it was not just in Dublin, I saw this in London, New York, everywhere I traveled. So I put myself into that world, and that is when Glassland was born.


The exchanges between mother and son, however, are transcendent, full of hope, fear, forgiveness, and hatred. It earns its tears, even if it skimps out on everything else.

The Guardian

The best scenes in Glassland are wordless and speak eloquently for themselves.


It's a look that's going to be breaking hearts on screen for decades to come.

LA Times

Its rhythm and tone have a morning-after feel: the movie is banging on pots and pans and telling you to get out of bed and have some coffee. Now.

Roger Ebert

See more



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