Set in rural Ireland, Sensation is the story of 26 year old sheep farmer Donnal Duggan who we meet on the morning of his father’s death. An outsider in society, Donnal’s spent most of his life without a mother figure, looking after the farm and his disabled dad. When given freedom, he gives it all up and ends up following a path he’d never imagined.

The film follows the relationship between Donnal and kiwi sex worker Kim. They begin as client and call girl, transcend into something similar to lovers and business partners and end up as co-defendants. As somebody who’s never had money or power, we watch as the effects of both increasing corrupt young Donnal.

Sensation explores our assumptions of relationships in a society where sexuality has replaced things of previous importance, especially true in rural Ireland. It’s the latest feature from writer/director Tom Hall. I spoke to Tom about his early creative partnership with John Carney and developing a film absent of a sympathetic lead.

Sensation (2010)

Following the death of his father, a young Irishman puts his inheritance to use by hooking up with a Kiwi call girl.

It was almost willful to toy with that idea of how much you could alienate an audience from a character and still have understanding and progression towards some kind of sympathy or tenderness or insight.

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