June 3rd 2022: The Capturing Conflict season, including film screenings and a symposium, begins in-cinema at the Irish Film Institute (IFI) tomorrow. Marking the centenary of the War of Independence and the Irish Civil War, the programme, running June 4th – 24th, presents Irish and Irish-set foreign dramas focusing on this turbulent period in Irish history, dating from the silent era to modern times. Select titles are available to stream on IFI@Home from June 4th onward.
Speaking about presenting Ireland’s centuries-long struggle for independence on screen, Head of IFI Irish Film Programming Sunniva O’Flynn said, ‘This programme traces a fascinating chronology of responses to Ireland’s struggle for Independence from the simpler black and white narratives, imbued with the passion of filmmakers who had lived through the events depicted, to more recent perspectives, capturing passion but also concerned with recapturing the historical nuance and authenticity of the period at a remove of many decades. Audiences will enjoy a rare experience to view films often spoken of but rarely seen – like the recently restored The Dawn, Guests of the Nation with newly recorded score, and Ourselves Alone and Beloved Enemy (both screening on 35mm)”
The season begins with George Dewhurst’s Irish Destiny (1926), the first indigenous fiction film made about the Irish War of Independence, screening on Saturday 4th. Filmed in Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, the film incorporates newsreel footage of the Black and Tans and the burning of Cork, alongside dramatised sequences. The Informer (1929), based on Liam O’Flaherty’s novel and following the story of IRA man Gypo Nolan, screens on Tuesday 7th. Both titles are available to watch on IFI@Home from Saturday, June 4th.
From the 1930s, The Dawn (1936), Ireland’s first indigenous sound feature, screens on Wednesday 8th. Denounced in Dublin as pro-British and in Northern Ireland as pro-Sinn Féin, Brian Desmond Hurst’s Ourselves Alone (1936) screens on Friday 10th, introduced by Alan Esler Smith, biographer and great-great nephew of Hurst.
Guests of the Nation (1935), starring Barry Fitzgerald, Cyril Cusack and Hilton Edwards, screens on Sunday 12th, and online on IFI@Home throughout June. Restored from nitrate elements by the IFI Irish Film Archive and the Limerick Film Archive with support from the Heritage Council, Beloved Enemy (1936), starring Merle Oberon and Brian Aherne, screens on Saturday 18th.
Modern interpretations of the Civil War include Neil Jordan’s Michael Collins (1996), starring Liam Neeson and Alan Rickman, screening on Sunday 19th, and The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006), where brothers find themselves on opposing sides after the War erupts in Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or winner, showing on Wednesday 22nd.
On Friday 24th, IFI and Maynooth University present a day-long symposium at the IFI in Temple Bar, supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, under the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2012 – 2023, featuring contributions from Irish and international academics, covering the declaration of the republic on screen; the denigration of de Valera on film; cinema-going during the War of Independence; the revolutionary period in cinema newsreels; feminist readings of key texts, and the ethics of historical documentary making.
Saturday, June 4th (16.00) – Irish Destiny (1926)
Tuesday, June 7th (18.20) – The Informer (1929)
Wednesday, June 8th (18.20) – The Dawn (1936)
Friday, June 10th (18.20) – Ourselves Alone (1936)
Sunday, June 12th (16.00) – Guests of the Nation (1935)
Saturday, June 18th (16.00) – Beloved Enemy (1936)
Sunday, June 19th (16.00) – Michael Collins (1996)
Wednesday, June 22nd (18.15) – The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006)
Friday, June 24th (10.00 – 17.00) – The Irish War of Independence & Civil War on Film: The Symposium
Tickets are on sale now from www.ifi.ie/capturing-conflict and www.ifihome.ie.
IFI is principally funded by the Arts Council.
This event is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2012-2023.
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