Man of Aran is a 1934 documentary film directed by Robert Flaherty, who is considered the father of the documentary genre. The film depicts the harsh life of a family living on the Aran Islands, off the coast of Galway in Ireland. The film shows how they struggle to survive by fishing, farming and hunting on the rugged landscape.

The film was shot on location in various places on the Aran Islands, mainly on Inis Mór, the largest of the three islands. Some of the filming locations include:

– Gort na gCapall: This is where the family’s cottage was built for the film. It is located near the village of Kilronan, on the eastern side of the island.

– Bungowla: This is where the shark hunting scenes were filmed. It is a small bay on the northern coast of the island, near the village of Kilmurvey.

– Dún Aonghasa: This is a prehistoric stone fort perched on a cliff edge overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the most famous landmarks on the island and a popular tourist attraction.

– Iaraine: This is where some scenes of fishing and seaweed harvesting were filmed. It is a rocky shore on the western side of the island, facing the open sea.

The film was praised for its stunning cinematography and realistic portrayal of life on the islands. However, it was also criticized for being staged and romanticized, as some of the activities shown in the film were not practiced by the islanders at the time. For example, shark hunting was not a common or necessary occupation, and some of the costumes and tools used in the film were outdated or borrowed from other regions.

The film had a lasting impact on the culture and tourism of the Aran Islands, as it sparked a renewed interest in their history and way of life. The film also inspired other filmmakers, such as John Ford, who shot his 1952 film The Quiet Man in nearby Connemara.


Aran Islands



Wonderful saw this first time in Kilronan as a child 6 or 7. 50 years ago. Magical .walked home to seven churches that night and the sky was dropping stars the whole way home.The film was an extension of all that was around me as I imagined it would have been!I was collecting water from the crag spring. There wasn’t much to be got!My mum washed clothes in the sea! I felt wild and free!

March 22, 2023

Wonderful film! Old life on Aran as you would imagine but so enjoyed and valued the visual reenactment!