Dir: Pat Collins
2017 | Ireland, Canada
104 mins | Cert: CLUB
This visually meticulous and mesmerising film revolves around the life of the great traditional Irish singer, Joe Heaney. The stylised black-and-white picture, obscuring the border between documentary and fiction, is a cinematic ballad that invites viewers to join the enigmatic, talented and idiosyncratic artist on his dramatic life journey; along the way we also get a sense of the difficult yet humble life of the people of Ireland over the course of last century.
The film takes us to the district of Connemara, and to the village of Carna, Joe Heaney’s birthplace, considered the cradle of local folklore, and then the camera accompanies him on his travels round the world. The power and magic of the songs provide the central motif threading its way through the film. The director stages the music scenes so skilfully and suggestively that we feel we are actually present in the room, swept up in the atmosphere along with the rest of the audience.
Was it the songs that helped the inhabitants of this magnificent but desolate Irish landscape to survive and commune with God? And what part of his heart and soul must the artist sacrifice in order to satisfy his inner compulsions?
- Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2017
This film will be preceded by a short film 'Sekar Arum' by Maurice Gunning
Sekar Arum - Forging the Javanese Gamelan, is a short documentary about the forging of a Javanese Gamelan gong, highlighting the rhythmic nature of the methods employed by traditional gamelan makers, including the firing, moulding and tuning of a new bronze instrument. Filmed and edited by documentary photographer and film-maker Maurice Gunning and produced by Mel Mercier.