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Dawn, The

Director: Tom Cooper

Ireland| 1936. Black and White. 87 minutes.


The first indigenous Irish sound feature, The Dawn is a fictional account of Ireland’s struggle for independence. It is unusual for the fact that it was made by a Killarney garage owner using a wholly local cast and crew led by director Tom Cooper. It is remarkable for having being made on a shoestring budget with an amateur cast, many of whom were actually involved in the War of Independence.
The first part of the film tells the story of Brian Malone, who is framed as an informer on his Fenian colleagues. The second part tells of his grandson Brian, an active member of the IRA despite the opposition of his brother. When taunts of traitor are used against him, Brian is expelled from the IRA and joins the RUC. After witnessing a summary execution of an IRA prisoner by the Black and Tans, Brian decides to desert and warns his former colleagues of an impending raid.

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