Tom Sullivan: 'The famine is still a powder keg emotionally for us as a nation' – The Irish Times

Arracht is variously translated from Irish as “monster”, “darkness”,” freak”, “fearsome”, or, more verbosely, “a huge, terrible creature with a threatening look on it”. It’s also the name of Tom Sullivan’s thrilling new Great Famine drama.

“I’ve always liked the word,” says the film-maker. “And sometimes my ideas come from very superficial places. It doesn’t really mean monster; it kind of gets lost in translation. It has many, many different meanings. The word spectre comes up in some translations. But it’s more of a dark force or a kind of evil. It can also be a giant mythical creature. It fits well with the film because it’s a film with many monsters in it. The famine is a monster. Loneliness is a monster. Some of the personalities in the film are monstrous. Even the arrogance of the lead character at the beginning of the film. So there are monsters all

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