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Filmmaker Letter

Filmmaker Letter

Wild Mountain Thyme

by writer/director John Patrick Shanley

In Wild Mountain Thyme, I’m celebrating the humanity, the poetry, the eccentricities, the loneliness, the quiet passions to be found among Irish farmers. My father was an Irish farmer. He came to America when he was 24. He had a brogue, and he was the most wonderful man I have ever known. When I first traveled to Ireland, it was with him. He took me to the farm that nourished him. There I met his brother Tony, and Tony’s family. The farm was blocked from the road by two gates. You had to open and close these every time you came and went. I asked what was the story behind that, and never got a straight answer. It was that prompt which led me to dream up Wild Mountain Thyme, first as a play, then as a screenplay. Writing these scripts has been the greatest pleasure of my writing life. I loved and love my father, though he’s gone. I came to love his Irish family, their gift of language, and the farm that enriched us all. When the opportunity arose for me to make this film, I asked the location scouts to find me the most beautiful farm in Ireland, and the most beautiful mountain. As you will see, they found the two in a single place. Wild Mountain Thyme is dedicated to my Uncle Tony and his wife Mary. The story I have written is a fairytale, but fairytales spring from a deep cultural place. I am an Irish American man, a bridge between two countries, and profoundly proud of that fact. I’ve told a tale. I hope you like it.

Posted December 3, 2020

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