Saturday 7 December 2019

Glasnevin Cemetery film 'One Million Dubliners' tipped to be a massive hit

The round tower which marks the grave of Daniel O'Connell in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.
The round tower which marks the grave of Daniel O'Connell in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.

The documentary about Glasnevin cemetery, 'One Million Dubliners', is tipped to be the runaway hit of this year's Galway Film Fleadh, writes Kirsty Blake Knox.

A documentary about Glasnevin cemetery ‘One Million Dubliners’ is tipped to be the runaway hit of this year’s Galway Film Fleadh.

The feature film tells the story of the characters that inhabit Ireland's largest non-denominational graveyard and is presented by the now deceased Shane MacThomais – the Cemetery Historian at Glasnevin who suddenly passed in March of this year.

“It is an emotional and emotive film,” producer Rachel Lysaght told the Irish Independent.

“Shane was the life, soul and star of Glasnevin Cemetary. He was also a hive of information – his death obviously adds another layer to our film and makes it more poignant.”

Grave diggers, mourners, florists, gardeners and historians all feature in the documentary which will premiere at the Town Hall Theatre in Galway on Saturday July 12.

“1.5 million people are buried in Glasnevin,” Lysaght said. “But this film is about the lives of the characters – living or dead - who inhabit the graveyard.

Glasnevin was founded by the Great Liberator Daniel O’Connell and is the final resting place of some of Ireland’s most important historical figures including de Velera, Brendan Behan, Michael Collins and Charles Stuart Parnell. 

The cemetery also features a plot for the Irish men who were killed during WWI and WWII.

Another film that is already causing a stir is ‘Blood Fruit’; which details the events of 1984 when Dunnes Stores employee staged anti-apartheid strikes.

After two years and nine months on the picket line, Dunnes Stores’ workers Mary Manning, Karen Gearon and their colleagues won.

With the help of support from Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Jesse Jackson, the strikers forced the Irish government to implement change.

As part of the documentary, which will screen on July 10 in the Town hall Theatre, filmmaker Sinead O’Brien travelled with the strikers to South Africa for the funeral of Nelson Mandela.

This year’s Galway Film Fleadh has placed an emphasis on women working in the film industry.

“Women are criminally under-represented in all creative fields and this is especially true for film,” spokesperson William Fitzgerald said.

“While there is no shortage of female filmmakers, there is a distinct lack of support and recognition for their work.”

To counter this, the Fleadh will screen films directed and produced by women and hold an open conversation entitled; “Why not 50/50? or Why can't a woman be more like a man?!”

The Galway Film Fleadh opened last night with the John Carney’s ‘Begin Again’ and runs till July 13.

Irish Independent

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