This Other Eden

Director: Muriel Box

Ireland • 1959 • Comedy/Drama • 85 mins

2004 marks the Abbey Theatre’s 100th anniversary, and as part of the Abbey’s celebrations, IFI Education is delighted to be screening This Other Eden. Made in 1959 and adapted from the hugely successful stage play by Louis D’Alton, the film features several Abbey players.
The story begins with a Prologue, set during the War of Independence and depicting the shooting of Commandant Jack Carberry (Gerald Sullivan) by the Black and Tans. Alongside him is his friend Mick Deveraux, (Niall McGinnis) to whom a dying Carberry mysteriously urges to ‘see to everything.’ Moving forward to the 1950s, Jack Carberry is now a patriot martyr, and there is a planned statue to his memory in the town of Ballymorgan. But with the arrival of Englishman Crispin Brown (Leslie Phillips), and through the many characters and sub-plots that develop, long-held secrets begin to emerge that explode the mythology surrounding Carberry’s and Ireland’s past.
The film is a witty and complex satire, whose principal target is Irish romanticisation of Ireland and Irish identity. Its optimistic ending points towards a more outward-looking, modern Ireland.

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