The Hungry Grass





Circa 1981


Digitised as part of the BFI's Unlocking Film Heritage project


Super 8

black and white


05min 03sec




British Film Institute, Mrs Lindy Reid

Rights Holder

Mrs Lindy Reid

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.


Beware of cursed grass in this offbeat thriller. What will become of the American who crossed the seas to visit his ancestors’ graves? After reading his own name on a tombstone will things take a turn for the worse? Never underestimate the perils of sketching in a graveyard, perhaps that uneasy presence is not just an overactive imagination. Take care next time you walk through the long grass after watching this film it will never feel the same again.


There are several tantalising versions of the hungry grass myth. Known as féar gortach in Gaelic the hungry grass ‘cursed’ those who dared to tread on its mischievous stalks with insatiable and perpetual pangs of hunger. William Carleton believed that it was planted by fairies whilst other say that it grew wherever people died during the famine. Archie Reid was a History teacher and prolific film maker. He won several awards including the IAC Trophy in 1981 for creative use of sound in this film.


Directed by Archie Reid

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