I must admit I havn't seen the 1934 documentary 'Man of Aran', but it has been released on DVD and I intend to see it soon.
I did however see the cottage that was used, and you can in fact stay in it, as it has been converted into a Bed & Breakfast place.
The synopsis of the film is as follows :
The hard life of survival for the poor residents of the wind-swept Aran islands off the West coast of Ireland is chronicled. We follow one family that finds ways to grow potatoes on patches of naked rock. The young boy fishes by throwing his line over a cliff hundreds of feet high. And the men brave outrageously dangerous seas in flimsy boats to harpoon giant basking sharks.
The filmaker must have caused nightmares for his financial backers, as it took 2 years to shoot the film and he used about half-a-million feet of film (and celluloid doesn't come cheap).
It is nowdays seen as one of the milestones in the history of the genre.
Be warned that the ferry ride is a little rough at times to Inishere from Doolin. I have seen people get sick many times, and have even gotten woozy myself. The best advice that I have is stay on top and not go down below deck. It might be more appealing at first to go inside, especially if it’s raining outside, but in the long run I think you’ll wish you hadn’t. The ventilation isn’t great downstairs and it can get stuffy. On some of the boats it even smells funny.
Fondest memory: Once when I was taking the ferry back from Inishere, it was so foggy that you could barely see your hand in front of your face. It was also raining so everyone was below deck, getting sick. I stayed up on the top and was the only person braving the weather. Everything was solid white and I couldn't even see where we were going. Then, all of a sudden, the fog lifted for about two seconds and straight in front of me were the Cliffs of Moher. It was so eerie, and they were so beautiful. Then, the fog came back up and they disappeared again.
Favorite thing: Remember, it gets darn cold in Ireland! I have been there several times during the summer months and I always end up needing a sweater. The Aran Islands seem to be even colder than the rest of Ireland, and if it’s possible they even seem to get more rain. Remember to bring a rain jacket and something warm to wrap up in later. I would recommend not wearing blue jeans because they don’t dry out as fast as cotton.