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November 9 - 11

9th Annual Magners Irish Film Festival

The Irish Film Festival samples the best of contemporary Irish and Irish-related cinema, offering a range of features, documentaries and shorts, the majority as US premieres. BIFF is introducing a new series of educational programs on the state of filmmaking in Ireland in conjunction with the Huston School of Film & Digital Media in Galway.

Special thanks to Magners Irish Cider, the Metro newspaper, Culture Ireland, Jurys Boston Hotel, Aer Lingus and Reel Ireland. For more details, including information on Educational Programs, receptions and advance sales tickets, please visit www.irishfilmfestival.com

To purchase tickets visit the Festival's online ticketing portal.


Special Event Tickets - $10
Friday November 9 at 7pm

Deep Breaths

Directed by P.J. Dillon.
With Amy Huberman, Allen Leech, Appearing in Person
Ireland 2007, 35mm, color, 15 min.

When Danny (Leech) sees Bridget, the woman he loves, boarding a train with a stranger, he decides to follow them.  What he discovers reveals a shocking truth.  Working from a taut script by Roger Karshan, director P.J. Dillon crafts a tense, beautifully photographed film that is hard to forget.

The Front Line

Directed by David Gleeson, Appearing in Person
With Eriq Ebouaney, James Frain, Gerard McSorley
Ireland 2006, 35mm, color, 93 min.

Joe Yumba, a Congolese ex-pat with a mysterious past is granted asylum in Ireland and is later joined by a refugee woman and her 9 year old son, who he claims are his family.  Employed as a security guard for a Dublin bank, all seems well until a ruthless gang kidnaps Joe’s family.  Their plan is to force him to help them break into the bank’s vault, but the cunning Joe turns the tables on the gang and begins to play its members off of each other. One of the most acclaimed Irish films of recent years, David Gleeson’s exhilarating heist film is both a compelling character study and an unflinching look at contemporary Dublin.  “A terrific film that reminds us what big screens were made for,” The Sunday Independent.  

 

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Saturday November 10 at 2pm, Carpenter Center Room B-04

Bloody Sunday: A Derry Diary

Directed by Margo Harkin
Northern Ireland 2007, video, color, 90 min.

On January 30th 1972 the British Army shot thirteen unarmed civilians on a civil rights march in Derry, Northern Ireland. Confidence in British justice evaporated among the victims’ families when Lord Widgery exonerated the soldiers and blighted the reputation of those killed and wounded. Filmmaker Margo Harkin follows the families’ long search for the truth at the new Tribunal of Inquiry into `Bloody Sunday,’ which was held in Derry and London over a 6-year period.  The result is a compassionate and heartfelt film, charged with moral outrage and pointed political commentary.

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Saturday November 10 at 3pm

Short Order

Directed by Anthony Byrne.
With Emma de Caunes, Rade Sherbedgia, Jack Dee
Ireland/France 2005, 35mm, color, 100 min.

Short Order opens with a flamboyant song and dance number -
aping Hollywood’s Technicolor musicals of the 40s and 50s - then sharply shift gears to focus on the darkly comic antics of an oddball group of chefs, waiters, food critics and delivery people whose lives and loves are intertwined in the business of food. Playing out over one long night in an unidentified restaurant, the film centers on short order cook Fifi (de Caunes) – whose culinary skills are such that her food can cause orgasms!  Fifi, however, is in a rut and needs to escape her humdrum life.  Short Order is a wonderfully colorful, funny and sexy confection, exuberantly directed by Anthony Byrne and acted with considerable charm by an eclectic cast that includes Vanessa Redgrave and John Hurt.

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Saturday November 10 at 4pm, Carpenter Center Room B-04

The Hunger Strike

Directed by Margo Harkin, Appearing in Person
Northern Ireland 2007, video, color, 60 min.

Of all the volatile periods in Northern Ireland's recent history the Hunger Strikes is one of the most impassioned and significant historically.  Filmmaker Margo Harkin revisits the dramatic story of how and why Bobby Sands and 9 others died a death so extreme it convulsed politics in Northern Ireland and Britain, and drew world wide attention to the one of the most extreme protests in prison history.  A painful and memorable film, The Hunger Strike is the definitive telling of this tragic period in Anglo-Irish history.

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Saturday November 10 at 5pm

Cré Na Cille (Graveyard Clay)

Directed by Robert Quinn
With Brid Ni Neachtain, Mac dara O Fatharta, Peader Lamb
Ireland 2007, 35mm, color, 93 min.
Irish with English subtitles

Caitriona Phadin dies and takes with her to the grave all the rage and hatred that had consumed her while living. But death has done little to assuage Catriona’s anger and in the graveyard clay of Connemara she reflects on her life’s disappointments.  Based on the celebrated novel by Mairtin O Cadhain, Robert Quinn’s literate translation is a fiercely funny black comedy, wonderfully acted and beautifully shot.

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Saturday November 10 at 6pm, Carpenter Center Room B-04

Frongoch

Directed by Rosie Nic Cionnaith
Ireland 2007, video, color, 51 min.
Irish with English subtitles

After the 1916 Rising, 1800 Irishmen were found guilty of insurrection and interned in Frongoch, a now forgotten Welsh prison camp.  Dubbed “Britain’s biggest blunder,” Frongoch brought together the cream of a generation of revolutionary nationalists and laid the seeds for the War of Independence.  Rosie Nic Cionnaith's visually striking Irish-language docudrama blends archival footage with dramatic recreations to tell the story of Frongoch and the role it played in contemporary Irish history.

No Go – The Free Derry Story

Directed by Vinny Cunningham
Narrated by Bernard Hill
Ireland/UK, 2007, video, color, 59 min.

On the 14th of August 1969 the British Army were deployed onto Northern Ireland’s streets for the first time, to relieve an exhausted RUC in the wake of the Bogside riots. Confronted with a ring of barricades manned by rioters, the troops were faced with a difficult dilemma – attempt to remove the barricades and provoke a confrontation, or leave the barricades intact and allow the Bogside to remain beyond official control.  Filmmaker Vinny Cunningham confronts the actions of the British army head-on in this powerful follow-up to his 2004 film Battle of the Bogside, which screened here in 2005.

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Special Event Tickets - $10
Saturday November 10 at 7pm

On Broadway

Directed by Dave McLaughlin, Appearing in Person
With Joey McIntyre, Eliza Dushku, Jill Flint
US 2007, video, color, 98 min.

Following the death of his beloved uncle, budding playwright Jack O’Toole becomes determined to write and stage a play about his Boston Irish family.  Initially Jack’s efforts meet with opposition from those about him, particularly his father Martin and cousin Billy.  Even Jack’s wife Kate is less than enthused.  But ultimately, Jack’s belief in the play wins out – the play is staged in the backroom of the local bar (in reality Waltham’s Skellig Pub) and family and friends gather round in support.  Writer/director Dave McLaughlin has made a warm, funny and ultimately moving film - a loving valentine to the Boston Irish.

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Sunday November 11 at 2pm

Blind Vision

Directed by Brendan J. Byrne
Ireland 2007, video, color, 72 min.

Richard Moore’s world went dark on May 4th, 1972 when he was struck by a stray rubber bullet on his way home from school in Derry.  Over 30 years later a California doctor thinks that he can restore Richard’s sight, but Richard is unsure he wants the operation.  Documentary-maker Brendan J. Byrne chronicles Richard’s journey as he confronts the British soldier who shot him and slowly comes to terms with the possibility of having his sight restored.  A remarkable and emotionally compelling film about rehabilitation and reconciliation, and the power of the human spirit to find redemption in tragedy.

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Sunday November 11 at 3pm, Carpenter Center Room B-04

Docs Program I

Total Run Time: 95 minutes

Sean O Cualain's Saol an Maor, Gerald Fitzgibbon and Brian Scully's Up In Smoke, and Alison O'Reilly's My Heroin Hell - Rachel's Story. For more more information visit www.irishfilmfestival.com

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Sunday November 11 at 4pm

Shorts Program

Total Run Time: 81 minutes

Conor Ferguson's The Wednesdays, Bryan Baker's A Dose of the Guilts, Matthew Darragh's Pilgrim, Noel Kearns' The Cleaner, Virginia Gilbert's Hesitation, Fiona Ashe's I Love You Susie, and Bobby Thompson's
Another Run Through. For more more information visit www.irishfilmfestival.com

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Sunday November 11 at 5pm, Carpenter Center Room B-04

Docs Program II

Total Run Time: 90 minutes

Adrian McCarthy's Pigeon Heads, Barry McCarthy's Making Pictures, Ian Palmer's The McDonagh Pictures, and Catherine Donahue's Sin Sceil Eile: Tell Me a Story. For more more information visit www.irishfilmfestival.com

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Sunday November 11 at 6pm

KM64: Birth of a Skatepark

Directed by David Keating
With Justin Amour, Geth Noble
Ireland 2007, video, color, 70 min.

David Keating’s exhilarating documentary tells the story of ex-NFK pro-footballer Justin Amour, who quit his job selling mobile generators to build one of the world’s biggest and most extreme skateparks... in a chili field in Mexico.  Keating’s camera captures all the excitement of extreme skateboarding, but ultimately this is a story about faith, synchronicity, and about doing what it was you set out to do – no matter how crazy it may seem.

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Sunday November 11 at 7:15pm, Carpenter Center Room B-04

Padraic O Conaire

Directed by Johnny White
Ireland 2007, video, color, 52 min.
Irish and English with English subtitles

Padraic O Conaire is one of Ireland’s best known yet least understood writers.  The drunken dreamer, the merry prankster, generous to a fault, selfish in the extreme – such is the myth that surrounds O Conaire.  Filmmaker Johnny White delves behind the contradictions and hyperbole to find the truth behind the revolutionary socialist, nationalist, social critic and writer – but can we ever know the real Padraic O Conaire?

Ri an Fhocail

Directed by Sean O Cualain and Macdara O Curraidhin
Ireland 2007, video, color, 52 min.
Irish and English with English subtitles

Connemara-born Mairtin O Cadhain was the most acclaimed author of 20th century prose in Irish.  He is best known for his major novel Cre na Cille (the film adaptation of which also screens at this year’s festival).  With terrific use of archival footage from Connemara and Dublin in the 40s and 50s, Ri an Fhocail profiles a giant among Irish writers whose work continues to demand attention and recognition.

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Sunday November 11 at 7:30pm

The Tiger's Tail

Directed by John Boorman
With Brendan Gleeson, Kim Cattrall, Ciaran Hinds, Sinead Cusack
Ireland 2007, 35mm, color, 103 min.

John Boorman’s savage indictment of Celtic Tiger Ireland features Brendan Gleeson (2006’s Excellence Award honoree) in the dual role of a wealthy Dublin businessman and his sinister down-and-out doppelganger, who steals his identity.  Gleeson is terrific in both roles, proving once again that he’s one of Ireland’s finest actors. The director of such classics as Point Blank (1968), Deliverance (1972) and Hope and Glory (1987), tackles his first Irish subject since 1998’s acclaimed The General (which also starred Gleeson), and the result is a clever, twisted, surprisingly fun tale of corruption, greed and the social costs of Ireland’s so-called economic miracle.

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Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700