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100 Years of Cinema: ‘Women and Film’ curated by Lelia Doolan & MNÁ 2016

Galway, UNESCO City of Film, is commemorating the 1916 Rising with an exciting programme of seminal Irish Cinema and landmark television events to take place over eight Saturdays throughout 2016. This programme, called 100 Years of Irish Cinema, will take the form of one-day events, roughly one Saturday per month, to include screenings, debate and lively discussion of the development of our national identity and our national cinema over the past one hundred years.  Each event will be themed and programmed by a different guest curator, with the April 16th event curated by Lelia Doolan and MNÁ 2016.

At 12 noon there will be a screening of Hilary Dully’s controversial documentary “50,000 Secret Journeys”, commissioned by RTÉ in 1994, which features interviews with three Irish women speaking openly and on camera about their personal experience of abortion for the first time on Irish television. The film was deemed to be ‘unbalanced’ by RTÉ management who decided not to broadcast the documentary the day before it was due to be transmitted in March 1994. Co-Producer and Director of 50,000 Secret Journeys Hilary Dully will introduce the film.

This will be followed at 2.30pm by The Uninvited (1944). A classic black and white ghost story of the forties, based on the bestselling novel by  Dorothy Macardle, Irish historian, playwright, novelist and human rights activist who was one of the leading figures in the War of Indpendence.

While vacationing on the English coast, composer Rick Fitzgerald (Ray Milland) and his sister Pamela (Ruth Hussey) find an abandoned 18th-century house and decide to buy it. The owner, Commander Beech (Donald Crisp), associates it with the tragic death of his daughter and is willing to part with it despite his granddaughter Stella’s (Gail Russell) objection. The Fitzgeralds move in and soon find themselves, with the help of Stella, battling it out with two very prickly ghosts.

Mother Ireland (1999) directed by Anne Crilly and produced by Margo Harkin will screen at 4.30pm. This documentary explores the development and use of images and music which personify Ireland as a woman in Irish culture and nationalism. The film highlights how these cultural and stereotypical images of Ireland as a woman influence the idealised model of woman demanded by Irish society. It uses historical film, photographs, political drawings, cartoons and music to explore the largely unrecorded role of women in Irish history and presents realistic images of Irish women at work today.

This will be followed immediately after by comments and discussion with Hilary Dully, Anne Crilly, Margo Harkin, Bernadette McAliskey and Pat Murphy.

Finally there will be a screening of director Pat Murphy’s film Nora (2000) at 8pm. The film explores the life of Galwaywoman,  Nora Barnacle and her relationship with James Joyce, with Susan Lynch in the lead role and Ewan McGregor as Joyce. The film depicts their passionate relationship and the significant influence of Nora on Joyce and his writing. The film earned the director the United International Pictures Director’s Award.

Tickets, €5.50 per film and €15.00 for the full day, are available from An Taibhdhearc on 091-562024. You can also book online at http://antaibhdhearc.com/imeachtai/

Details of upcoming 100 Years of Cinema events at www.galwayfilmcentre.ie

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