What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that some images in this film may be frightening to young children: a cradled infant boy floats into the stormy sea and disappears while birds attack two men on the shore, preventing them from rescuing the baby; a "Selkie" (legendary seal) unsettlingly sheds its skin to become a woman. The opening scene takes place at the funeral of a young mother; the sound of a wailing baby intensifies the sadness. There is a startling moment when a young man suddenly stabs a knife into a table. Stories and superstitions are related throughout, some of which humanize sea creatures and sometimes make them appear threatening. Drinking takes place in local pubs. A naked toddler runs along the beach in several sequences.
- Families can talk about folk tales. Why is this movie considered a folk tale? How are such tales passed from one generation to another? What do you think happens to the stories as they are recounted over the years?
- Why was the sea so important to the people in this movie? Why was it important to Fiona?
- The filmmakers used music, sound, and close-ups to illustrate the power and vastness of nature. Were they successful? How did each of these devices increase your experience?
- What other movies have you seen that might be considered folk tales or legends? How do these differ from fairy tales?