|Director||Mac Dara Ó'Curraidhín|
|Writers||Brian Winston (writer)
|Cast||Robert J. Flaherty|
|Language||English, Gaelic, Irish Gaelic|
|Plot||Flaherty was born in America in 1884 but became a prospector in Canada. A keen photographer, he turned to cinema making a study of life in the Artic, Nanook of the North (1921), which is seen, quite rightly, as the first documentary - the first film to create a narrative from everyday reality. Flaherty's method was to craft simple but exquisitely pictorial dramas from daily life -- the struggle for survival, the pleasures of family, rites of passage. But in Nanook and his next film Moana (1925), made in Samoa, he set his story in the immediate past (when igloo-building or painful tattooing still went on), not the less romantic present. Stereotyping and distortion did not disturb him. The impulse to the romantic even fixed how he saw Industrial Britain (1931). And when he got to Ireland he was no more willing to grasp underlying social realities. In Man of Aran, he made the islanders, for example, hunt basking shark which they had not done for a generation. He couldn't escape the plight of American farmers, though; so in The Land (1942) he fails to tell a story at all. But, finally, he finds his form again in Louisiana Story (1948), a film about oil drilling which ignores the rigs in favour of picturing a lad's idyllic life paddling in the Everglades. A Boatload of Wild Irishmen makes clear these contradictions. Flaherty showed how compelling documentaries could be made but, in his work, it was often at the cost of the truth. The actor (and Aran Islander) Macdara Ó Fátharta narrates. The script was written by Brian Winston, an Emmy award-winning documentary script-writer and a leading expert on the documentary film. The documentary was directed and produced by Mac Dara Ó Curraidhín. Contributors include Richard Leacock - cameraman on Louisiana Story and father of the contemporary hand-held documentary style, Martha Flaherty - Flaherty's Inuit granddaughter, George Stoney - documentary filmmaker and professor at New York University, Seán Crosson - film scholar at the Huston School of Film, Jay Ruby - anthropologist and film scholar at Temple University, and Deirdre Ní Chonghaile - musician and folklorist from Árainn.... search for A Boatload of Wild Irishmen on IMDb|
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