Into the West (1992)

Imdb Ranking 6.8

Papa Riley (Gabriel Byrne), a widower, and his two young sons, Ossie and Tito, live in the run-down projects of Dublin. The boys don't attend school and Papa doesn't seem to be the same man since his wife died. He seems to drinks to forget his former life. They are Travelers, a gypsy-like group of nomads, who no longer travel. Papa works some small scams and the boys sing and beg on the streets for coins. Their grandfather, who still lives in the old style stops by, and his great white stallion, Tir na nOg which means Land of Eternal Youth, instantly takes a liking to the boys. The horse is soon living with them in their small apartment. When the police come and take him away, and then sell it to a rich man, the boys are heartbroken.

One day the boys see their horse on TX at the Dublin Horse Show. he is steeple jumping and a wealthy businessman is telling the reporter how he bread him himself. The police then pick up Papa and show him a tape of the boys, at the the Dublin Horse Show as they ride off on Tir na nOg.

The boys ride through the Dublin streets and then out of town. The boys who love to watch American Westerns decide to head to the West. Papa goes to his father-in-law and asks him about the boys. He blames him for the loss of his wife. He says he has spent seven years in hell without her.

The boys think they have escaped Dublin, but when they stop and ask a lady, they are still inside of it. The boys head off on their horse towards the mountains that they pretend are the Rockies.

When papa heads back to the Traveler camp they at first tell the deserter to leave. But then Tracker welcomes him back. Papa tells him he needs help to find his boys. The boys are excited when they find out that there is a 5000 pound reward for them. They think they are real cowboys. We then find out that Papa's wife died giving birth to Ossie. They were turned away from the hospital because they were Travelers. Barreller (Colm Meaney) and Kathleen (Ellen Barkin) set out on horseback with Papa to search for the boys.The boys stay over night in a movie theater but then the police, led by Inspector Badger (Brendan Gleeson) closes in.

Tir na nOg brings the boys to their mothers grave. He then brings the boys to the coast where they meet up with Papa, Grandfather, Barreller and Kathleen. The boys tell Papa that they don't want to go back to the towers where they had lived. The police soon show up and Tir na nOg heads off in to the water with Ossie on his back. Ossie falls off in to the water and is sinking under the water when he has a vision of his mother who pulls him up. Papa then carries him out of the water.

The police arrive in force and the captain tells everyone to leave them in peace. Papa burns the old caravan so that Mary's soul can go to rest.

In his review Roger Ebert said: "The subtext of the movie involves the gypsy culture in modern Ireland. Known also as tinkers and travelers, the gypsies are often discriminated against, and charged with any crimes that take place even vaguely near to them. For their grandfather (David Kelly), the traveling life is still rich and satisfying, but for their father (Gabriel Byrne), it has been replaced by a form of imprisonment in a high-rise ghetto. The father enlists two friends (Ellen Barkin and Colm Meaney), who remind him of the ancient strengths of the travelers, and what is regained is not only a horse, but a family and a tradition."

A very good family movie.