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PARTNERS: Jack has been engaged to Madeline Mulqueen for six years and they worked together on his new film. Picture: Getty

PARTNERS: Jack has been engaged to Madeline Mulqueen for six years and they worked together on his new film. Picture: Getty

Visual China Group via Getty Ima

PARTNERS: Jack has been engaged to Madeline Mulqueen for six years and they worked together on his new film. Picture: Getty

Coronavirus even affects Hollywood stars. Right before our interview at the Light House cinema in Dublin, Jack Reynor takes a nervous phone call.

An upcoming trip is looking dicey. But he tries to look on the bright side. Everyone being cooped up at home with the television might have the knock-on effect of boosting viewing figures for his auspicious directorial debut, Bainne, which gets its TV premiere on Sky this coming St Patrick's night.

It stars the brilliant Will Poulter and, in stylish black and white, tells a story from the Famine, which seems, in the context, a timely reminder that we have survived much worse than this. As the makers of Black 47 discovered, depicting the horror of mass starvation in a way that audiences will be able to cope with is no easy task, and Reynor's short film focuses instead on the ghostly, deserted landscape that the fleeing millions left behind. He was heavily influenced, he says, by Japanese cinema, and sees commonalities in the "culture of shame and silence" that pervaded both Japan and Ireland for much of their histories.