How Harry Became a Tree

Director: Goran Paskaljevic

Very much an international production, How Harry Became a Tree has a Serbian director use an Irish cast to tell a Chinese folk tale that comically touches on the legacy of both Irish and Balkan civil wars. Central to the story is the paranoid, combustive Harry (Colm Meaney), who bullies his submissive son Gus (Cillian Murphy) and feuds with neighbour George (Adrian Dunbar). Uninterested in his father’s conflicts, Gus falls for and marries Eileen (Kerry Condon), one of George’s employees; Gus’s failure to make this marriage work just feeds his father’s inferiority complex as he watches George step in and sweep Eileen off her feet. The story of feuding families in 1920s Ireland revels in the sustained dark comedy which infuses the violent, often humorous conflict between Harry and George.

Best Actor (Colm Meaney) in a Feature Film Award at the 1st Irish Film and Television Awards 2003

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