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The Yellow Bittern

Director: Alan Gilsenan


Completed shortly before he died, this feature-length film about folk singer Liam Clancy presents a revealing and surprising portrait of the man whom Bob Dylan called “just the best ballad singer I’d ever heard in my whole life.” This intimate, confessional, and highly cinematic film charts the remarkable rise to fame of The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, from their small-town beginnings in Co. Tipperary to the folk heyday of Greenwich Village in the 1960s, where they absorbed black musical influences, played for John F. Kennedy, and outsold the Beatles. The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem would go on to influence a host of popular artists from Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger to The Pogues, and would become a powerful, iconic presence on the Irish cultural map.

Notes by Sunniva O’Flynn.

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