The Fairy Faith (2000)

“The believers believed it, and the unbelievers didn’t.”

The Fairy Faith, a documentary from filmmaker John Walker explores the mysterious world of fairies. Walker’s grandmother believed in them, and on a quest to answer some of the lingering questions from his past, Walker travels to Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Skye before returning to Cape Breton. At these spectacularly beautiful locations, Walker interviews a variety of colourful characters–who all believe in fairies to one degree or another. He interviews a harpist, an artist, a paranormal specialist, and a Celtic mythology professor amongst others. Most of those interviewed have never personally seen fairies–nonetheless their faith is unshakeable. Walker saves the interviews with those who claim to have seen fairies to the end of the film.

The film explores some of the folklore associated with fairies, but I was a little disappointed that the film did not mention the Cottlingley fairy incident of the 19th century. As it is, the comments made by interviewees remain largely anecdotal–although the film did touch on the idea that fairies were co-opted and altered by the Victorians.

For those interested in fairies, the film has some interesting segments. Skeptics will probably laugh their heads off. If the film is supposed to convince viewers of the existence of fairies, I think it fails due to the over reliance on anecdotal comments. Some additional scholarly material would not have been amiss. As is, the film is a pleasant–and pretty–diversion.

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