Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 19th


Thu Feb 27, 2020 – 7:30 pm | Hendricks Arts Center
Sat Feb 29, 2020 – 12:00 pm | La Casa Grande

Burren Girl

Rita Davern
Documentary Feature
USA | 53 min | 2020

A Minnesota woman searches for the place and people her grandmother left behind. The quest takes her to the Burren: a beautiful, windswept region of County Clare, Ireland. There she finds a clan – and its medieval legacy – that were scattered and lost during some of the most difficult centuries in Irish history.

The moderated Q&A session with filmmakers from:

Burren Girl - Poster

Who am I? Where do I come from? Like many people in the U.S. with European heritage, I grew up with little connection to my Irish homeland or to the stories that help form a strong sense of identity. I was so curious about the unknowns in my family history! In my thirty’s, with the encouragement of a friend, I began a search for the people and place my grandmother left behind. Over the next forty years, thanks to the generosity of distant Burren relations, I got a glimpse of my own past. The experience brought me out of the cultural amnesia into which I was born. Its impact went far beyond historical facts or a completed family tree. It was an adventure in connection. That connection to people, homeland and culture has value far beyond what I imagined.
This film is a gesture of appreciation and thanks to the Burren farm families and friends who led me – and accompanied me – on this great exploration of our shared past. Burren Girl celebrates the deep, essential connection between people and their homeland. I hope the magic of this family history adventure inspires viewers on their own journeys home.

Burren Girl - Rita DavernRita Davern

Over the past 40 years, Rita Davern has traveled the Burren, birthplace of her grandmother’s people in County Clare, Ireland. You will often find her there, in the parlor, drinking tea with friends and distant relations. The conversation may turn to those who stayed and those who left, as the devastation of colonization, hunger and emigration took its toll. Rita knows firsthand that, for U.S. people with European heritage, reconnecting to our homeland and our cultural history adds huge richness to our lives. Rita believes that the greatest find of genealogy is the living relatives.

Rita worked as a communication and leadership consultant to corporate America for twenty years. When her adopted Korean son became ill, she discovered — and now teaches — Parenting-by-Connection, an approach to parenting that builds deep, strong, healing relationships with children through play.

Finding and facing one’s own story – and then letting that experience change you – is a big theme in Rita’s life. She also enjoys time outdoors in her beloved Minnesota. She can be found snowshoeing in the north woods or hiking along the Mississippi River Valley with her husband, Bob.

Film Information

Director: Rita Davern
Country: USA
Year: 2020
Language: English
Runtime: 53 min.
Rated: G


Producer:  Rita Davern
Writer: Miles Painter
Editor: Miles Painter
Composer: Charlie McCarron
Sound Mix: Jesse A. Marks

Connect With This Film

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival