About the film: Where does the story take place?
1) It takes place in Iona in Scotland
2) It takes place in Kells in Ireland
3)Louis Le Bocquy, a painter (born in 1916) inspired the film-maker
3) The book was transferred in 806 from Iona in Scotland to Kells in Ireland
Who are the characters of the film?
1) he is a tall and protective man who lives in a tower
2)he forgot he was an illuminator in the past
3)he has got ginger hair
4)he lives in a tower to forget the past
1) He is of small size
2)he teaches Brendan how to draw or how to observe
1) She is a real and mythical cat
2) She is only mythical
3) There are poems written by the monk in the archives which mention the cat
1) They were killed by Crom Cruach
2) They died when she was younger
3) They are still alive
1) She is a fairy and an angel
2) She is intelligent, careful and also very sensitive
3) She moves on four feet
4) She can transform herself into a wolf
Abbots Tang, Leonardo and Assoua:
1) They are all illuminators
2) They are allowed out of the monastery
3) They are not allowed out of the monastery
4)They are entirely dedicated to the scriptorium
5) They eventually/finally die but the spectator doesn’t see them
1) They are not menacing shadows
2)They are represented as cruel animals
3) They represent death, unhappiness, dangers and tragedy, destruction and war, horror and blood
1) He is a Celtic God with a snake
2)He represents the dragon as a legend
3) He was shot by Saint Patrick in Irish mythology
4)His name means “The Dark One”
What are the Celtic symbols in the film?
1) The square
2) The rectangle
5) light modifies the scenes
6) light doesn’t modify the scenes
7) forest as paradise on earth
8) forest as opposed to flat landscapes
9) the circle as the symbol of harmony
10) the “triskele” is a Celtic symbol which is a representation of water, fire and earth
And now the story:
1) it starts when Brendan is a child and finishes when he is an adult
2)it is the story of the evolution of a young boy into adulthood
3)the Book is always present in Brendan’s mind
4)the Vikings are always present in Brendan’s Uncle’s mind
The Book of Kells:
1)The Book of Kells is a real book which is in Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
2)The Book of Kells isn’t a real book and doesn’t exist.
It is a legend.
What about Pangur Ban, the magic spell and spirit?
1)Pangur Ban, the white cat, existed. She is a female cat.
2)Pangur Ban the white cat never existed.
3)One of the monks wrote poems about her.
How is Celtic mythology represented ?
1) symbols inspired by nature and animist cults.
2) it is close to natural rites and rhythms
Can you name painters who inspired the artist?
The monastery is very beautiful.
The colors are original.
People are monks and priests.
Walls have got bizarre shapes.
Brendan is twelve years old.
He is an orphan: he hasn’t got any parents.
His father and his mother died.
He meets a very friendly girl: she is called Aisling!
She will help him. She is a fairy. He is looking for berries to make ink
because he wants to write the Chi Ro page.
Brendan is of medium height and size and has got ginger hair.
He lives in Kells in Ireland.
Brendan’s Uncle is the head of Kells.
He is taking care of other monks and people.
The book is very important to him.
The security and safeness of the monastery matters to him as well!
He lives in a tower which opens with a very narrow door.
He is very strict because he wants to save the monks and his people from the Northmen’s attacks.
The Secret Of Kells
Description of Aisling: long white hair and green eyes. She looks like a fairy and she is one! She has the power to turn the cat, Pangur Ban into a fish-cat, a spirit! She can use her spells!
Description of Brendan: short orange hair and blue eyes, long feet, curly and funny ears! He is the hero of the story and we can see him when he is older!
Description of the monks: Asian, African, all walks of life! They are wearing long red coats
I like the scene when :
– When Brendan dreams that the Vikings will attack Kells because he has visions and can trust his imagination! He is a visionary!
– When Brendan makes a lot of drawings on the Book! He is inspiring!
I like the scenes when there is
- a lot of suspense and many battles
- when the forest is beautiful
- when the book is beautiful and turns into a magic spell!
- Pangur Ban is really cute with two different colours for his eyes! Pangur Ban did exist! He was one of the monk’s cat. The monk wrote poems about her!
Our film review about the Secret of Kells
I liked the scene when the little boy writes the sacred book
-I liked the discovery of the forest
-I liked the scene when he catches the monster’s eye.
-We liked the red and the green colours and the drawings!
My best scenes:
– The meeting between Aisling and Brendan
-She is quicker than Brendan,
she runs faster and she is the best!
-She has magical powers to trasnform nature .The cat can go where she cannot
My best favorite scenes
-When his Uncle is hurt, someone tells Brendan : « You must go, your Uncle is not dead! »
– Brendan disobeys his Uncle to pick up berries because he is not allowed to do so!
-Vikings’s attack and the wolves eat the Vikings in the forest
-Brendan thinks the bees will attack him but it is not true!
the Vikings ‘s attacks are in red
Aisling in the forest
the wolves ‘s scenes are also in red
Aisling ‘s eyes
the wolves ‘s eyes
beautiful nature: waterfalls, rivers, leaves in spring, leaves on trees, leaves falling down,
the Vikings’ s eyes
the monster Crumach
The scene when Brendan is writing
when the Vikings go Kells
When Brendan meets his uncle
The wolf’s lips and mouth
When Brendan writes the Book of Kells
the fire, the sky, the buildings, the walls, the attacks, the
Brendan catches the goose
Brendan’s UNCLE’s clothes
green berries for green ink
Aisling disappears and gets lost in darkness
red represents evil or a danger: it means something bad is going to happen
and green represents what is best and good in life, luck, happiness,
writing and drawing
Long ago, when the Vikings crossed the seas to raid Ireland, a boy called Brendan lived in a village not far from
the great monastery of Kells.
One terrible day, the Vikings attacked Brendan’s village
and left no one alive- except little Brendan!
click http://LearningApps.org/view3131279 and watch!
http://LearningApps.org/view1361649 about King Arthur, a very famous Celtic King
a forest spirit named Aisling.
the Eye of Collum-Cille
-“Catch him, Brendan! Don’t let him go!” The goose is running very fast.
-“We’ve got him!”
The walls of the Abbot’s room are full of drawings!
-“We are artists, not builders!” said Brother leonardo crossly.
A stranger arrives with a white cat!
From Brother Aidan’ s study room to the forest:
Brendan took down the stachel (bag) and opened it!
-“Oh! Brother Aidan! I… mean no harm. I just wanted to look at the Book.”
The “Chi Ro” page is the most glorious page in the entire book.
The monks use ink, the deepest emerald green ink! They grow an old oak trees in the forest.”
Brendan’s face: ‘I am not allowed in the forest. It is too dangerous.’
-“Oh, Pangur, I really want to help Brother Aidan. Maybe I could go into the forest.
The two friends crept through the passage between the stones. They hurried into the dark forest.
Finally, they reached a clearing (woods with trees) and stopped to catch their breath.
Wolves! Brendan picked up a stick and swung it around like a sword. The wolves started making noises.
Brendan closed his eyes and begun to pray.
-“Is this your cat?”
A small white-haired girl, about eight years old, stood in front of the stone, holding Pangu Ban.
-“You’re a… a fairy! What are you doing here?”
-“What are you doing here- in my forest? You’ve come to spoil it, haven’t you? Where are the rest of your family?
Cutting down trees or hunting the animals, I suppose?”
-‘I haven’t come to spoil anything! And I don’t have a family.’
-“No?” Brendan said, “no mother, and no father either.”
-‘I’m alone too. My name is Aisling, what’s yours?”
-‘Brendan. And I’m jsut here to find berries to make ink. Do you know where these grow?”
-‘I could help you find them’ Aisling said, ‘but only if you and your cat promise never to come into my forest again!’
-‘Come on, then.’
Aisling led Brendan and Pangur throught the forest, stopping to ask birds and animals for directions to the oak tree.
Finally she stopped under a huge tree and pointed straight up. It was a very long way to the top.
Aisling looked very strong. She managed to climb trees, all of them! Tall trees, thick trees, large trees, all of them!
But Brendan had difficulties climbing, he was trying to breathe.
Aisling was already at the bottom.
-‘Are you alright?’ Aisling asked anxiously.
-‘I’m fine. I just jumped the last bit.’
Pangur looked at him and shook her head.
Brendan left the path and found a cave.
-‘Careful! Be carefu! Evil ahead of you!’
-‘What do you mean?’
‘Crom Cruach? It is not a story … The Dark One is real. Run!’
‘It isn’t your world, Brendan? You must trust me! We need to go home!’
Back at the Abbey:
‘Brendan! Where have you been?’
‘I … I went into the forest. For brother Aidan, to get berries to make ink… for the BooK.’
‘I said it to you. You must not and shouldn’t leave the Abbey.’
‘Yes, Uncle. I’m sorry, I apologize.’
‘Now, come along. I have work for you in the tower.’
Later that night…
-‘Aidan! Wake up!
The next day refugees arrived at the abbey gates. The Vikings were getting closer! The monks worked even harder on the walls.
And Brendan worked on his drawing. Aidan was very pleased with his progress.
-‘Brendan, I have a confession. I cannot do the Chi Ro page. My old hands are too shaky and my eyes too dim. YOU must do it.’
-‘Me? No. I would ruin it. There must be someone else-‘
-‘You just have to trust in yourself and your imagination.’
For once (for the first time in his life), Brendan was glad to hear Abbot Cellach calling him.
Aidan drew a shape on a piece of paper and placed Brendan’s hand on it. The Eye of Crom Cruach was there!
-‘I cannot give up the Book, Uncle!’
Saved by Aisling:
-‘The only key to the Tower is in the Abbot’s room. ‘
-‘Now, Little Cat.’ said Aisling softly ‘You must go where I cannot.’
Aisling begun to croon softly into Pangur’s ear. Pangur’s shape slowly dissolved into thin white cloud.
The mist-cat turned and twisted inside the room, then reached out and lifted the key from the hook by the door.
-Where are you going?’
-‘The Eye of Crom!’
-‘No, Aisling. It’s a crystal and I think there’s one in the Dark One’s cave.’
Aisling is very sad and also frightened. She doesn’t want her friend to go to Crom Cruach’s place.
-‘Crom Cruach took my people. It took my mother. You will die!’
-‘The Book is Knowledge and Hope and Inspiration. it will be a treasure far beyond our time, a treasure forever.’
-‘This place is hurting you, Aisling. You must go back.’
The fight with the monster:
Again and again, the monster tried to consume Brendan; each time Brendan ducked out of its way( trying to escape).
The serpent raced towards Brendan. Brendan drew a big circle. The monster screamed in frustration.
Brendan reached for the monster’s eye. The eye came free. Pangur Ban was happy to see her her friend alive and well.
In the scriptorium and the arrival of the Vikings:
Brendan lay asleep on his desk, his hand covering a small piece of vellum. Aidan gently moved his hand and looked at Brendan’ s
creation throught the crystal. Very small creatures seemed alive under the glass, perfect in every detail. He called the other Brothers and they looked
at Brendan’s creation through the crystal. They were amazed at Brendan’s work.
They told Brendan to go in the tower because it was too dangerous to stay with the Northmen. They slammed the door and locked it behind
The monks said to Brendan :
-‘ The Northmen killed everyone on Iona; they will leave no one in Kells. Your uncle lived to protect you. Now I must protect you, for Cellach and for the Book.’
The Northmen had destroyed part of the book, the vellum pages started floating gently to the ground.
Brendan started collecting them. The wolf had big blue eyes and was watching them. He suddenly disappeared.
Time passes by. Brendan is now a young adult and he is paying a visit to his Uncle who is old.
Brendan Gleeson as Abbot Cellach: A former illuminator himself, Abbot Cellach now uses his talents for the purposes of designing a wall to protect the Abbey of Kells from invasion. He is very concerned for everyone’s safety, especially that of his nephew Brendan, to the point where he thinks of little else but the completion of his wall. Eventually, this leads to his downfall.
Liam Hourican as Brother Tang and Brother Leonardo: Two illuminators, the former from Asia and the latter from Italy.
Evan McGuire as Brendan: The main character of the film, twelve-year-old Brendan is bright, imaginative and curious, but leads a sheltered life due to his uncle forbidding him from venturing outside the walls of Kells. Brendan is very interested in the art of illumination, and spends much of his time in the scriptorium with some of the Brothers in the abbey. He is recruited as Aidan’s assistant to help finish his great book. His uncle Abbot Cellach, an approaching Viking horde, a snake god and his own fears stand in the way of bringing the finished book to the people.
Michael McGrath as Adult Brendan
Christen Mooney as Aisling: Aisling is a fairy, related to the Tuatha De Danann, living in the woods outside of Kells. She is a protector of the forest, and doesn’t like unwelcomed guests. At this point her age is uncertain, but she is likely to be hundreds of years old. Despite being terrified of Crom Cruach, the evil god that dwells in a cave deep within her forest, she becomes loyal to Brendan and does whatever she can to help him. She has many magical abilities, and often takes the form of a white wolf.
Paul Tylack as Brother Assoua: An illuminator from Africa.
Paul Young as Brother Square: An illuminator from England.
The name Book of Kells is derived from the Abbey of Kells in Kells, County Meath, which was its home for much of the medieval period. The date and place of production of the manuscript have been the subject of considerable debate. Traditionally, the book was thought to have been created in the time of Columba,paleographic and stylistic grounds: most evidence points to a composition date ca. 800, long after St. Columba’s death in 597. The proposed dating in the 9th century coincides with Viking raids on Iona, which began in 794 and eventually dispersed the monks and their holy relics into Ireland and Scotland. There is another tradition, with some traction among Irish scholars, that suggests the manuscript was created for the 200th anniversary of the saint’s death. possibly even as the work of his own hands.
Rescued by his uncle, Cellach,
Brendan has lived ever since among the monks in the monsatery,
under strict instructions not to go beyond the walls!
Have a look at the maps!
photos of Iona, July 2007 by Marie André-milesi
A stranger arrives with a white cat!