The film begins and ends in an Irish bog. Joe’s family have likely been turf farmers for hundreds of years. He carries on the tradition, likely due to cultural guilt.

Turf cutting takes place in bogs, habitats which are predominantly found in Ireland and were formed over thousands of years in areas with poor drainage and high rainfall. The water clogged environment removes oxygen from the soil and prevents plant materials from being fully decomposed. The plant matter builds and builds over time (around 1mm per year) to create a carbon rich and soft soil that turf cutters have been using as fuel for thousands of years. 

All you need to know about turf cutting, by Dr. Martin McHugh
Ireland West Farm Stay Experience
The Story of Turf Cutting in Ireland

Int Cottage

This is a cottage that’s been in Joe’s family for many years. He’s likely to be one of the very few in his family to have left it. As it’s been the home to a single man who spends all of his time in the bogland for at least 30-40 years, it’s not going to be contemporary or well-kept. It is utilitarian.

The cottage shouldn’t be bigger than a few rooms. A fireplace is necessary, as well as a kitchen table to seat four adults. There is one shower scene, and a few scenes in Joe’s bedroom.

EXT Cottage

The aim is to find a cottage that isn’t too idyllic. It tends towards ramshackle.

There’s a small garden area outside of the house in which Joe is able to build a small fire with seating for four adults.