Dale's Notes on Banshees through the lens of 9 Mediator.
Please watch this film first, it has some story-appropriate but disturbing images fyi.
Then watch Last Holiday which has no disturbing images.
The beginning of the movie is a 9s nightmare: A *halt* of an inertia: The 2 O’Clock Pub date is being thwarted. 8s 9s 1s are Body Types— bodies in motion like to stay in motion and bodies at rest like to stay at rest: Inertia.
Simple man Pádraic wants his friend to come out. His sister Sioban asks “Have you been rowin (with Colm)?” “I don’t know, have we been rowin?” He doesn’t know if there has been conflict. Others ask same, “I didn’t think we were rowin’”
Another inertia: living as an adult male with his sister in parents house since parents died 8 years ago.
Note: It bothers Pádraic that the cop never says hello. Small things (molehills out of mountains, mountains out of molehills). And Nines value peace, harmony and right relations.
(4? Midlife crisis?) Colm at home has melancholic music; home is filled with artistic items from all over the world. The answer to the conflict says Colm: “I just don’t like you anymore.” He goes on to say Pádraic life is uneventful, boring, dull, aimless chatting; and he needs to get on with his own artistic life. “Tremendous sense of time slipping away. I’ll die with nothing to show for it but dull aimless chat.” Pádraic says “We’ll just chat about something else then.” “He’s dull, he’s always been dull,” Siobhan says to Colm. Not Dull nor Dim to Pádraic, But “nice.”
Jenny the mule is welcome in the house by Pádraic bc he knows she just wants a bit of company. Nines like environments where everyone and everything is allowed TO ABIDE.
Dominic is the son of the abusive cop; a bit slowed. These two provide a tension in the movie showing what happens when folks are violent/unkind/persecutory— much of what 9s are against.
There is peace on the island where Pádraic and Siobhan live, bit fighting on the Irish Mainland in a Civil War. The backdrop of this movie is the difficult cold world that Nines live in and attempt to avoid or mediate: *Conflict* *Territory* Countrymen executing Countrymen. An extreme/drastic BOUNDARY is set up: a finger for everyday Colm’s *boundaries* are crossed by Pádraic. Nines may often want to just go along to get along, but this was impossible here for someone trying to individuate/detach from another.
Siobhan insists on boundaries in her home w Dominic and his behavior; through CONFLICT and ANGER is how this is established.
Pádraic puts up w Dominic, but is not nice to him; he is around by default. But the father’s mistreatment of Dominic, his punch in the town, and the stress of Colm’s abuse throws him into (drunken) Anger at the bar.
****Key question of the film: What lasts? Niceness (Pádraic’s answer ) or Music/Art/Poetry (Colm). ****. Affirmatively he says: “I am Pádraic… and I am Nice.”
“You’re all fekkin borin, with your grievances…”Siobhan--- I just love this line. She got an Academy Award Nomination for her role, btw.
A turning point occurs when Padraic lies to the man and sends him running from town, all bc of jealousy; not nice! He does something that is hard for 9s to do: he advocates for himself and he does something unkind.
The old woman in foretelling two deaths tells Padraic: “I wasn’t trying to be nice, I was trying to be accurate.” There is a VALUE being addressed in the movie about the relative value of being Nice. While often a word I apply to 2s, I think in this movie it refers to the **other-oriented go-with-the-flow and everything/everyone-matters** view of 9s versus other values such as self-preservation, accuracy, beauty, correctness, strength, etc.
“Maybe this whole thing has been about gettin you to try a new tac, start standing up for yourself a bit, be less of a whiny little dolores.” Dominic (of all people!!!!) tells Padraic. Padraic confesses to doing a mean set up with the gentleman, and Dominic is saddened at Padraic no longer being the “nicest of em”…. “I am the nicest of them, but maybe this is the new me,” Padraic says defensively.
Jenny dies (and Dominic dies), senselessly. This makes Padraic enraged and vengeful and he makes a gentleman’s offer for vengeance and retribution. 8 Wing Justice/Vengeance, 1 Wing Fairness/Righteousness. “To our graves, we’re taking this. Or to one of our graves.”
When 9s wake up from being asleep, they wake up Angry.
All the world art is burned in the house, but the dog is saved :)
Before you judge the movie too harshly….. I think it has great merit examining many issues such as aging and individuation, conflict (personal and regional), the limits of avoiding one's own will for interdependence, conflict and attachment, how men settle conflicts, etc.
The men had a rough immense conflict and discuss it on the beach: “Somethings there’s no moving on from. And I think that’s a good thing. “ BUT…..** Niceness ** DOES last in the film, in Padraic’s words to his sister, in the letter, and also in the final words between Colm and Padraic: “Thanks for looking after my dog for me, anyways”… “Anytime” Padraic answers, moved.
Is this a story of what it takes for this man to become himself, not defined by anyone else? “I am Pádraic… and I am Nice.” “I am the nicest of them, but maybe this is the new me.”
What is the benefit of what happened to Pádraic? How might it relate to how Nines experience life, their environments, relationships and individuation?