IFI Local Films for Local People
Wed 06 July / Town Hall Theatre / 15:30
1924, 1925 & 1961 / Ireland / 97 min / Documentary
Saoirse? (1961) 90 min
On the centenary of events portrayed, we present George Morrison’s powerful sequel to Mise Éire (1959). Saoirse? begins where Mise Éire ends to chronicle the period from January 1919 when the First Dáil convened through to the outbreak of the Irish Civil War in 1922.
A much darker film than its triumphalist predecessor, the brutality of the War of Independence is depicted, the signing of The Treaty and the ensuing national disunity which culminated in a bitter civil war.
Drawing on available photographic, newspaper and contemporaneous newsreel and actuality film, and incorporating Seán Ó Riada magnificent score and Seán MacRéamoin’s poetic Irish script, director George Morrison (now in his 100th year) salvaged fragile nitrate film material (which might otherwise have perished) to create a dynamic moving image portrait of pre-Independence Ireland. The film was produced by Gael Linn with a voiceover in Irish.
Wonderful Western Islanders (1924) 3.5 min
This short documentary depicts the lives of the inhabitants of the Aran Islands off the coast of Galway in 1924, and is perhaps the earliest surviving film of the islands.
Connemara’s Appeal (1925) 3.5 min
This newsreel shows the hardship endured by the people of Connemara following the economic recession that came in the wake of the War of Independence, the Irish Civil War.