A Boatload of Wild Irishmen
directed by Mac Dara O'Curraidhin
written by Brian Winston, 2011
Wednesday, October 10 at 7 p.m.
Multimedia Room, DiMenna-Nyselius Library
Free and open to the public
"A Boatload of Wild Irishmen" (2011) is a documentary based on the films of the Irish American filmmaker Robert Flaherty (1884-1951). Flaherty is best known for "Man of Aran" (1934) that depicts the life of the islanders and their heroic struggle for survival in the harsh environment off the coast of Galway. For many years considered an authentic portrayal of the Aran fishermen, director Mac Dara O'Curraidhin and writer Brian Winston reveal how Flaherty staged much of the film. The famous scene where the men fish for sharks with harpoons, a custom that had been outdated for about 50 years, was revived by Flaherty for dramatic effect. Flaherty, considered "the father of the modern documentary," began his career with "Nanook of the North" (1922) about the Inuit people, and, as in all his later documentaries, blurred the lines between authenticity and pretense. OCurraidhin's film contains commentary by Flaherty, his wife, his Inuit granddaughter, the Aran man himself, Colman "tiger" King, among others.
Dr. William Abbott, associate professor of history, will present the film.