Alan Gilsenan's visual film-poem on Pearse's writings.
A visually compelling major new film for TG4 on one of the most enigmatic and controversial leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising was launched this evening at the newly restored Pearse family home in Dublin by the Chairman of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Bob Collins.
Ó Pheann an Phiarsaigh is an hour-long dramatic montage from award-winning director Alan Gilsenan that draws solely on Pearse's own writings as it attempts to weave an artistic vision of the national icon's life and death and reflect on this divisive, controversial figure. The film will be broadcast on the Irish language channel on Wednesday 5 May at 9.30pm. Extensive use is made of archive film from the Irish Film Archive, IFI Irish Film Archive, Iarsmalann an Phiarsaigh, Fáilte Ireland, Gael Linn, Bailiúchán Clarke, NASA and the U.S. Library of Congress.
Pearse has become a somewhat divisive figure. For some, he is a towering hero of Irish independence, a major literary figure and educational theorist but for many others he's an out-moded totem, his character tainted by a dangerous love of blood sacrifice, a naive narcissism and unanswered questions about his sexuality and suitability as a role model.
The project was funded by the innovative Splanc! collaboration between TG4 and An Chomhairle Ealaíon/The Arts Council, with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland's Sound and Vision scheme. It was filmed, adapted and directed by Alan Gilsenan, produced by Martin Mahon of Yellow Asylum Films, edited by Emer Reynolds & Oliver Fallen and features Darach Mac Con Iomaire and Alan Gilsenan as the voices of Pearse.
At the launch, Alan Gilsenan commented, "The aim of the film was to be neither didactic nor conclusive, but to approach Patrick Pearse's remarkable life and work solely from an artistic perspective and explore the emotional impact that he has had on our society."
Linda Ní Ghríofa - TG4 - (087) 917 2864