Rainy in Glenageary | The Murder of Raonaid Murray (2019)

Rarely one comes across a true crime documentary that so differs from the usual gritty, scandalous and sensationalised style that has become the norm whenever a case is made for the screen that it takes one by surprise. Usually there is video footage, quick edits, rock music, a voice over that can border on annoying or shows interviews with the relatives, policemen, reporters and all that extra gloss in an attempt to hook us to the screen. As someone who is interested in true crime documentaries and cases and has watched many of these kinds of documentaries I can say all the things that I mentioned have become the norm and bordering on cliché, more interested in sensationalising than actually seeming to care about the people affected and the mystery of a “who did it?” overrides the victims.

Thankfully this documentary surprised me in how calm it was, the music and atmospheric effects of rain, cars, shouts and the perfect narrating by Ali Coffey. The artfully edited or painted pictures throughout the documentary as well as reports and old newspaper photos are the only things seen, along with a few more surprising editing as well as filming choices that make you perk up, for me it was the typewriter. It wants you to pay attention, not to drag you in to misery, but to know that a certain part is important. It doesn’t take your collar and pull you in like some other documentaries, instead it pulls you gently in, with its first person view footage of where the murder took place, placing us in the eyes of Raonaid Murray, who died in Glenageary, South Dublin, Ireland in 1999.

It is her case that this documentary is about. A crime I hadn’t known about. Now, thanks to this documentary I do. And I am happy that this documentary focused on Raonaid as person, not in a way that makes her merely a prop for the mystery, but as a person in her own right who was bright and charismatic. Most props apart from the writing, editing and directing should go to the honesty in the show of this cold case. Many times it is written or told to us that the documentary makers or certain people simply don’t know. It is not meant to add to the mystery, merely an honest fact, and it is refreshing.

Refreshing is what I would call the whole documentary, in both style and show. Because it doesn’t feel like a documentary. Instead it feels like an immersion to a time and place many don’t know about, with all the necessary and proper respect the case and Raonaid deserves. There are some surprises that, because of the format, come unexpectedly. But instead of feeling being hooked even more, there is a feeling of thankfulness that there is something new. The facts are laid out with the proper way they should be, as facts, and if some are only allegations then they are mentioned clearly. With some other documentaries there would be bullhorns when these surprises come, here though, there is silence. And silence is sometimes more powerful than noise. And what is a theme in this documentary style is. That less is more.

This was actually my first requested film review! Requested especially by the writer and director Graham Jones and I thought I would be honest about it so I mention it here. Also, I am honoured, even if it took me this long to get to seeing it. And I am thankful that I did. I watched it two times, and most likely will watch it again.

The whole documentary film can be watched on YouTube. And I highly recommend you do, should be something you would care to watch or listen to!

Thank you for reading! 

2 thoughts on “Rainy in Glenageary | The Murder of Raonaid Murray (2019)

  1. Youtube brought me here. I completely agree with you – it’s a very good film. I just hope the family get some answers one day…


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