Irish Film Institute -International Film Directory – Film Listing

Seamus Heaney and the music of what happens

    • Director

      Adam Low

    • Credits

      Michael Hewitt

  • Category


Six years after his unexpected death in 2013, Seamus Heaney’s wife Marie and their three children talk intimately about their family life and read the poems he wrote for them. His surviving brothers remember their childhood and the shared experiences that inspired many of his finest poems. Heaney’s unique gifts as a poet and his personal response to the complexity and violence of The Troubles in Northern Ireland are discussed by poets Paul Muldoon and Michael Longley. His students in Harvard, Tracy K Smith (US Poet Laureate) and Kevin Young (poetry editor of The New Yorker) consider the worldwide resonances of his work.

The film conjures the people and landscapes of Heaney’s childhood through a bounty of film and audio archive featuring Heaney’s own voice and his powerful, inimitable poetry.

Photo courtesy of Antonio Olmos
Notes by Sunniva O'Flynn

On the evening of Monday December 2nd 2019, the Irish Film Institute hosted a special screening of new Irish documentary Seamus Heaney and the Music of What Happens. This screening was followed by a Q&A with director Adam Low and Catherine and Marie Heaney, moderated by Prof Margaret Kelleher. Listen to the Q&A here.

88 minutes, UK, 2019, Colour

The IFI is supported
by The Arts Council

Arts Council of Ireland