Wednesday 17 January 2018

THE FACE that tells a thousand tales

The chief strength of Finbar Furey: Free Spirit (RTÉ One) lay in its subject's arresting face, gauntly striking now that it's been liberated from the woolly mass that was once its camouflaging trademark.

Liam McGrath's film wisely made much of that face as the singer and instrumentalist lovingly recalled his parents, paid fine tribute to his wife, eulogised his late brother and contemplated his own travails.

He's still writing and performing but the profile was at its most absorbing when evoking times gone by, roads not taken and avenues unexpectedly opened.

Other voices, though, and a degree of distancing wouldn't have gone amiss in a film too prone to taking its subject at his own evaluation.

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