Tag Archives: Loopline Film

Talking to My Father rejected by Galway Film Fleadh.

talking_titleI entered my new fea­ture doc­u­men­tary ‘Talk­ing to My Father’ to the Gal­way Film Fleadh. I will blog lat­er about the film but for now I will tell you it had a very nice debut at the recent Dublin Film Fes­ti­val and has been accept­ed to a very pres­ti­gious show­ing in New York in Octo­ber. The film was fund­ed by the Arts Coun­cil Reel Art scheme and nor­mal­ly these films do the rounds of Irish fes­ti­vals and hope­ful­ly are enjoyed and the reviews they get helps them trav­el beyond these shores. There­fore I was sur­prised when I got a sim­ple rejec­tion let­ter from the Fleadh with the usu­al thank you for enter­ing etc etc.! I felt sad, bad and mad and won­dered should I enquire fur­ther or just let it go. I am used to the dis­ap­point­ment one gets when you have a film turned down at inter­na­tion­al fes­ti­vals but 9 times out of ten the Irish fes­ti­val say yes as they are com­mit­ted to new Irish work. I decid­ed to email the Fleadh and ask why it was reject­ed? Was it not liked, bad qual­i­ty, unsuit­able, what­ev­er!. I sent an email! Sur­pris­ing­ly I got a reply say­ing that the Fes­ti­val cura­tor Gar O’Brien liked my film very much but as there was a short­age of screens avail­able they had decid­ed to only show pre­miers. I have been rais­ing my voice over the last years in protest at Irish Film Fes­ti­val com­pet­ing with each oth­er about pre­miers , argu­ing that the the local audi­ences they are serv­ing should come first in their list of pri­or­i­ties and not be denied the chance to see new Irish work.  I was also sur­prised when I entered the Fleadh that they had a rule that the film could not be entered into best doc­u­men­tary sec­tion if it had been shown at any fes­ti­val before! Non­sense! If a film is the best film, so what if it has been shown before. Anoth­er fes­ti­val  Stranger Than Fic­tion in Dublin will not screen a film if it has been screened already in Dublin! Again an exam­ple of Fes­ti­vals gone mad with their quest to be unique. Any­way, back to ‘Talk­ing to My Father’.  I replied to the Fleadh that their rea­son for rejec­tion was inad­e­quate and queried as to why did they ask for entry fee  if they knew they were only show­ing Pre­miers. With a few dis­creet enquiries I found out that my film was actu­al­ly accept­ed for the Fleadh and sched­uled to be screened but  that when a cer­tain cin­e­ma with­drew their venue they had  had an emer­gency meet­ing and dropped my film and I sus­pect a few oth­ers, but nev­er alert­ed us as to why we were reject­ed.  I sug­gest that the Fleadh should have con­tact­ed the film­mak­ers and brought them into the prob­lem and I for one would have been hap­py to screen my film in a local bar, , or even out­doors. The the Fleadh and the film­mak­ers would have been mak­ing a point! The Gal­way cin­e­ma goers would not be denied. I am dis­gust­ed at the treat­ment my film has received. No mat­ter what actions peo­ple may take, I have to fight for my film regard­less! The biggest insult the Fleadh threw my way was to just say it was reject­ed but not give any rea­son why until I inves­ti­gat­ed. Need­less to say I am a great admir­er of the this fes­ti­val and have screened many films there in the past but I must say in my esti­ma­tion the present guardians are los­ing sight of the spir­it of what a Fleadh is. Over and out. Thank you for read­ing Sé Mer­ry Doyle.

Since this post Phoenix Mag­a­zine fea­tured an arti­cle on the Fleadh.Phoenix

Phoenix cover

Jimmy Murakami Non Alien — BLU RAY RELEASE

Sé Merry Doyle & Jimmy Murakami

Sé Mer­ry Doyle & Jim­my Murakami

Sé Mer­ry Doyle’s award win­ning doc­u­men­tary ‘Jim­my Muraka­mi — Non Alien’ gets a spe­cial release along­side Jim­my’s mas­ter­piece ‘When The Wind Blows’s. Both films are  now avail­able in a spe­cial lim­it­ed edi­tion from  Screen Archives


Patrick Kavanagh — No Man’s Fool

 My film’Patrick Kavanagh — No Man’s Fool’ was com­mis­sioned by the Irish Film Board and RTE to cel­e­brate the cen­te­nary of the poets birth in 1904. The notion to make the film began when I filmed a year­ly gath­er­ing of Kavanagh devo­tees at his favourite spot on the Grand Canal in Dublin. Every year some­one would make a speech in the spir­it of Kavanagh and that year it was the poet  Mac­dara Woods.


Near the end of his speech he implored every­body to write to the parish priest in Inniskeen where Kavanagh was buried and to plead with him to rein­state the head­stone of Kavanagh’s wife Kather­ine Moloney to the poets grave­side. Mac­dara to my aston­ish­ment  explained how a few years after Kather­ine was buried along­side Kavanagh her head­stone had been destroyed  by per­sons unknown. My inter­est was piqued and I set out to Kavanagh’s birth­place in Inniskeen Coun­ty Mon­aghan to inves­ti­gate the mys­tery of the miss­ing head­stone. All I spoke to remained tightlipped but Bar­ney Cun­ning­ham a local farmer told me that there was bas bad blood between Patrick­’s broth­er Peter and Kather­ine over the lega­cy of his writ­ings. In 1989 Peter removed the cross over Patrick grave because he dis­agreed with the open­ing of his grave for the bur­ial of Kather­ine.  Some­time after Kather­ine’s bur­ial a  memo­r­i­al sculp­ture erect­ed in her mem­o­ry was destroyed and in 1998 Peter rein­stat­ed the cross.  Peter denied all knowl­edge as to how Kather­ine’s  head­stone dis­ap­peared. To this day there is no mark­ing to sig­ni­fy Kather­ine is buried there.

I edit­ed the lit­tle mate­r­i­al I had from the Canal gath­er­ing and in time the film was com­mis­sioned. Iron­i­cal­ly the sto­ry of Kather­ine’s head­stone being destroyed was not fea­tured in the film. This was not because of cen­sor­ship but more because the poets life took over my imag­i­na­tion. In the end the film con­cen­trat­ed on his extra­or­di­nary life. Kavanagh became known as the peas­ant poet and after good notices for his first pub­lished poems in ‘Plough­man and oth­er Poems’ he quit  the rur­al life he led and decamped to Dublin. Life was hard in the big city and he was always short of a shilling but against all odds per­se­vered in writ­ing the poet­ry that would immor­talise him. 

The film is lit­tered with the highs and lows of his poet­ic life.  The with­draw­al of his first nov­el ‘The Green Fool’ because of alleged libel by Oliv­er St. John Gog­a­r­ty. The police vis­it­ing him and giv­ing him a warn­ing about the overt sex­u­al­i­ty in his epic poem ‘The Great Hunger’. The col­lapse of his week­ly news­pa­per ‘Kavanagh’s Week­ly’ which was financed in the main by his broth­er Peter. He was a thorn in the estab­lished intel­lec­tu­als of the day and nev­er let a chance go to throw a wit­ty barb their way. Worse tragedy of all hap­pened when in his final years he sued a mag­a­zine ‘The Leader’ for libel and as a result his health dete­ri­at­ed. Out of this dark peri­od he wrote his great­est poet­ry known fond­ly as The Canal Bank Poems. This lit­tle stretch of water was his tran­quil space that was a short walk from his home and that he called Baggotonia.

John Montague

John Mon­tague

We filmed a lot in Inniskeen and Dublin. We inter­viewed his friends, John Mon­tague, Mac­dara Woods, TP McKen­na and the won­der­ful Leland Bard­well. We cre­at­ed visu­al sequences to con­vey the poet­ry which was read by the actor Ger­ard McSor­ley. Stephen Walsh wrote and nar­rat­ed the film. A 52 minute ver­sion aired on RTE but the longer ver­sion of 70 min­utes is the film I want­ed every­one to see. That ver­sion went on to win best doc­u­men­tary at the Boston Film Fes­ti­val. The film now lies in the vaults of the Irish Film Archive and gets the occa­sion­al outing.



Patrick Scott — Golden Boy

Gold - Patrick ScottPatrick Scott passed away on Valen­tines Day 2014 which was the eve  of a major ret­ro­spec­tive on the artist’s life in Dublin at IMMA and at the  Cen­tre for Con­tem­po­rary Art, Car­low   ‘Patrick Scott Image Space Light’ begins on 15th Feb­ru­ary and will run till mid May. Mer­maid Film are proud to announce that my film ‘Patrick Scott — Gold­en Boy’ will screen on a loop at both venues. RTE will screen the film on Thurs­day March 6th on RTE at 10:55 pm

The mak­ing of ‘Patrick Scott — Gold­en Boy’.

In 2003, I was invit­ed by the pro­duc­ers Maria Doyle Kennedy and Andrea Pitt to direct a film on the Irish artist Patrick Scott. Patrick was born in Kilbrit­tain, Coun­ty Cork in 1921 and is con­sid­ered today as the God­fa­ther of mod­ern art in Ireland.

Patrick Scott - Sé Merry DoyleI had pre­vi­ous­ly filmed Patrick for an as yet unre­alised film that would tell the sto­ry of the his­to­ry of mod­ern art in Ire­land. In the inter­view Patrick recalled the time when he rep­re­sent­ed Ire­land at the Venice Bien­nale in 1960. Although very proud to rep­re­sent Ire­land, Patrick was treat­ed shod­di­ly by the Depart­ment of For­eign Affairs. No gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tive showed up at his open­ing as was cus­tom­ary with all the oth­er nations. To make mat­ters worse he had to pay for his own cat­a­logue and press reviews.

Patrick Scott - YoungI thought that this inter­view would nev­er see the light of day so I was delight­ed when it was used in ‘Gold­en Boy’. Gold­en Boy traced Patrick­’s ear­ly child­hood in Cork, his jour­ney into archi­tec­ture along­side Michael Scott and his even­tu­al deci­sion to become a full time painter in the ear­ly 50’s. Patrick­’s first recog­ni­tion as a painter came when he had his first exhi­bi­tion with the White Stag Group in 1944.

The White Stag Group was com­posed of main­ly paci­fist refugee painters flee­ing Britain and France dur­ing WW2. Patrick honed his craft with the White Stag Group and had his first recog­ni­tion inter­na­tion­al­ly when he won the Guggen­heim award in 1958 and then went on to rep­re­sent Ire­land at the Venice Bien­nale in 1960.

Patrick Scott StudioToday Patrick is known most­ly for his series of Gold paint­ings which he embarked on in the 70’s and con­tin­ues in the same vein today. The film reveals the wide range of styles he under­went before he got the Gold bug!



Device - Patrick ScottHis Devise paint­ings were a protest against the nuclear devices that were being test­ed in the 60’s. His Bog paint­ings were inspired on his train jour­neys to John Hus­ton’s home in Gal­way. Hus­ton lat­er opened an exhi­bi­tion of Patrick­’s work in Dublin.



I began the film­mak­ing process by inter­view­ing Patrick over a peri­od of three days in his home and stu­dio on Bag­got Lane, Dublin. It was just me and Patrick and his cats. I jour­neyed with him to his fam­i­ly home in Kilbrit­tain, his school, Saint Colum­ba’s in Rath­farn­ham and his cot­tage in the Wick­low Hills. We filmed the poet Sea­mus Heaney when he vis­it­ed Pat’s stu­dio. Oth­er con­trib­u­tors include the pot­ter Stephen Pearce and the art crit­ic Bruce Arnold. But it was Patrick him­self who took cen­tre stage in our film and over sev­er­al months he revealed the thought process­es behind his work. On the per­son­al side he recalled his life long rela­tion­ship with his part­ner the actor Pat McClarnon and the depths of despair he under­went when Pat passed away. In the end it was Art and Zen Bud­dhism that kept Patrick on track and though now in his nineties his indomitable spir­it still shines and inspires.  ‘Gold­en Boy’ is one of the most enjoy­able expe­ri­ences I had had as a doc­u­men­tary film­mak­er. The film was screened on RTE and had many suc­cess­ful fes­ti­val screenings.

Pro­duced by Maria Doyle Kennedy & Andrea Pitt

Direct­ed by Sé Mer­ry Doyle

Music by Kier­an Kennedy

Patrick Scott - Studio 50's

Jimmy Murakami the Director of ‘Snowman’ receives Animation award.

Jimmy Murakami at the exhibition of his Tule Lake Paintings in Dublin.

Jim­my Muraka­mi at the exhi­bi­tion of his Tule Lake Paint­ings in Dublin.

My life over the last few weeks seem to have revolved around Jim­my Murakami, the direc­tor of ‘Snow­man’ and ‘When the Wind Blows’ and also the sub­ject of my doc­u­men­tary ‘Jim­my Muraka­mi — Non Alien’. Din­gle Film Fes­ti­val innau­garat­ed a new annu­al award ‘The Jim­my Muraka­mi Award’ and asked me to present the first one to Jim­my. Din­gle also host­ed a spe­cial focus on Ani­ma­tion so all the lead­ing play­ers like Jam Media, Brown Bag and Car­toon Saloon were in Din­gle to give work­shops. So the venue was packed with ani­ma­tors who would con­sid­er Jim­my to be the man that gave this art form a kick start in Ire­land. Jim­my arrived in Ire­land 40 odd years ago to work on a fea­ture film and met a young lady called Etna and from then on Ire­land became his home.

I organ­ised a screen­ing of a short film made by Jim­my in 1969 called ‘The Good Friend’. It  was the first film award­ed a grant when the Amer­i­can Film Insti­tute was estab­lished. I also showed a short clip from ‘Non — Alien’ which told the sto­ry of Jim­my’s incar­cer­a­tion in Tule Lake con­cen­tra­tion camp in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia after Japan attacked Pearl Har­bour. He was only 8 years old at the time. He and his fam­i­ly spent 4 years locked up and Jim­my still sees it as one of the great scars in Amer­i­can his­to­ry. Jim­my took the stage and gave a great talk that took us through some high­lights of his won­der­ful life. Jim­my  is at an advanced stage of pre — pro­duc­tion on a fea­ture film based on the Atom­ic destruc­tion in Hiroshima.

All thanks must go to Din­gle for hon­our­ing Jim­my’s great con­tri­bu­tion to the Irish Film Indus­try. LONG OVERDUE. A few days lat­er the Dublin Branch of Roy­al Tele­vi­sion Soci­ety invit­ed Jim­my to give a keynote speech to its mem­bers on the grounds of RTE. The man is in great demand.

The making of ‘John Ford – Dreaming the Quiet Man’

The mak­ing of ‘John Ford – Dream­ing the Qui­et Man’  Star­ring: Mau­reen O’Hara, Mar­tin Scors­ese, Nar­ra­tion Gabriel Byrne.

Avail­able on Ama­zon UK — Dis­trib­u­tor Ele­ment Films

All the stu­dios told Ford: ‘The Qui­et Man’ was a sil­ly lit­tle Irish sto­ry that nobody would pay to see, boy were they wrong!” Mau­reen O’Hara.

Why it too 7 years to make ‘John Ford; Dreaming the Quiet Man’ documentary.

It took John Ford almost twen­ty years to raise the finance to make his most trea­sured project ‘The Qui­et Man’, so I should not feel too dis­cour­aged that it took a mere sev­en years for this fea­ture doc­u­men­tary to reach the screen. By the time of its com­ple­tion, it fea­tured lumi­nar­ies like Mau­reen O’Hara, Mar­tin Scors­ese, Peter Bog­danovich, Jim Sheri­dan, and nar­ra­tion by Gabriel Byrne. The stun­ning loca­tions and peo­ple of the West of Ire­land where Ford shot his film in spec­tac­u­lar Tech­ni­col­or in 1951 enveloped the sto­ry­line. Add to the mix the music of Ger Kiely and Pad­dy Moloney of the Chief­tains and you have a film that has attract­ed a lot of peo­ple who want­ed to take part in a doc­u­men­tary cel­e­brat­ing  John Ford’s most per­son­al film ‘The Qui­et Man’ .

You had this sense of tremen­dous per­son­al involve­ment in the film from Ford. It’s hard to define but beneath all the com­e­dy and the ener­gy and the tremen­dous beau­ty of the land­scapes, beyond all that there was a sense that Ford was cre­at­ing a whole world out of his head, out of his heart, and mold­ing it into some­thing that he wished to be true”. Jay Cox

The Qui­et Man is poet­ry. Jack Nichol­son said when we were doing The Depart­ed, “God gave the Irish the words, the Ital­ians the music”. I said, “Yeah”, you know, you just lis­ten to it and it sounds like music and that film is filled with it, The Qui­et Man”. Mar­tin Scorsese

Like all good Irish sto­ries, the ori­gins of the doc­u­men­tary found its begin­nings in the after­math of a heat­ed dis­cus­sion. A col­league was argu­ing that ‘The Qui­et Man’ was a lot of roman­ti­cised rub­bish, that stereo­typed the Irish race across the globe as a bunch of no good drinkers who loved noth­ing more than to drink them­selves sense­less, fol­lowed with a big brawl. Here was some­one ridi­cul­ing a film that I had grown up with, like so many peo­ple across the world. Year after year, ‘The Qui­et Man’ is lov­ing­ly rolled out on TV at Christ­mas or Saint Patrick­’s Day to the delight of its many fans. I found myself defend­ing the film, clutch­ing at une­d­u­cat­ed guess­es as to its mer­its. Giv­ing it my best shot, I answered that it was direct­ed by John Ford, recog­nised as one of Hol­ly­wood’s great­est direc­tors, and fur­ther­more, his par­ents were born in Ire­land, so why would he make a film that would, in effect, shame and mock his own heritage?

Some Irish peo­ple hat­ed it for a long time because they thought it made us look like puck­oons and idiots but I would say it’s por­tray­ing fair­ly accu­rate­ly an Ire­land of the time where peo­ple were con­tained with­in a fear­ful reli­gious world and Ford was com­ing back to kind of say, look here’s the guy, he’s been to Amer­i­ca, he’s John Wayne, he’s com­ing back and he’s not com­ing back to free Ire­land polit­i­cal­ly but he’s com­ing back to free the soul of Ire­land and Mau­reen O’Hara from the oppres­sive bloody fam­i­ly that she lives in.” Jim Sheri­dan.

I was raised by peo­ple who their think­ing came from maybe a small vil­lage in Sici­ly very sim­i­lar let’s say to a small vil­lage in Ire­land, you have to under­stand where the rela­tion­ships between men and women, male and female come from in that world in order to accept the behav­ior of the char­ac­ters in The Qui­et Man.” Mar­tin Scorsese.

The argu­ment with my col­league on the mer­its of ‘The Qui­et Man’ end­ed in stale­mate but, coin­ci­den­tal­ly, an unlike­ly event was to occur, one that was to cap­ture my inter­est and imag­i­na­tion: ‘The Qui­et Man’ fan club had announced an event to mark the 50th anniver­sary of the film. Suit­ably intrigued, I decid­ed to attend and went along with cam­era in hand. I met with what can only be described as a bunch of ‘Qui­et Man’ mani­acs! They not only showed the film but also announced the win­ners of the Mau­reen O’Hara and John Wayne look-alike com­pe­ti­tion. It was all a bit of harm­less fun, but you could not help but be tak­en in by the enthu­si­asm and zeal of this group of peo­ple and their unfail­ing love for a film that had become so trea­sured in their lives. The basic sto­ry of ‘The Qui­et Man’ revolves around a Yank, Sean Thorn­ton (John Wayne), who has returned to his parent’s home­land ‘Inn­is­free’. He har­bours a dark secret and wish­es to start a new life when he meets with the girl of his dreams, Mary Kate Dana­her (Mau­reen O’Hara). The only obsta­cle is her jumped up farmer of a broth­er, Red Will (Vic­tor McLa­glen), who attempts to thwart Thornton’s desire. Sean Thorn­ton’s secret is that he killed a box­er in Amer­i­ca and has promised to nev­er fight again. He is faced with the dilem­ma of los­ing Mary Kate if he does not fight her brother.

The pic­ture has an extra­or­di­nary feel­ing right from the begin­ning. A warmth, an inti­ma­cy, a per­son­al com­mit­ment that’s a rare in pic­tures. You just feel that Ford’s heart is in this pic­ture, more than in any oth­er pic­ture he ever made I think. He nev­er made a film remote­ly like it. Nobody ever did.”  Peter Bog­danovich

In many ways the plot of ‘The Qui­et Man’ mir­rors Ford’s own life. His par­ents’ pover­ty forced them to emi­grate from Con­nemara in the West of Ire­land to Amer­i­ca in the after­math of the Great Famine but they nev­er let their chil­dren for­get the tra­di­tions, sto­ries and rit­u­als of their home­land. Ford was obsessed with his Irish roots and through­out his career made sev­er­al Irish themed movies in Amer­i­ca like ‘The Informer’ and ‘The Plough and the Stars’ but in the ‘lit­tle sto­ry’ by Mau­rice Walsh he found the per­fect vehi­cle to make his most per­son­al film, in the very loca­tion where his par­ents grew up. He revised the sto­ry and made the hero a suc­cess­ful Yank, like him­self, return­ing to Ire­land to claim his heritage.

The Qui­et Man is very decep­tive, before the film begins Wayne has killed some­body in a fair fight in Amer­i­ca. So he comes to Ire­land as a killer, as an Oedi­pal char­ac­ter com­ing back to the land of his birth, like Oedi­pus in the Greek Myths”. Jim Sheridan.

I think on some lev­el Ford want­ed to go back to Ire­land, and I think he iden­ti­fied very, very strong­ly with Sean Thorn­ton. I mean, his real name is Sean. The idea of an Amer­i­can who comes to reclaim his land, reclaim his her­itage and finds strife and mon­ey prob­lems and obsta­cles and also falls in love. It’s kind of a leg­end. It’s kind of a myth­ic pic­ture. It has a feel­ing of a fable. It isn’t total­ly real­is­tic and yet it plays real­is­ti­cal­ly but it has a kind of a fable like qual­i­ty”. Peter Bog­danovich

I trav­eled to Cong in Coun­ty Mayo, which had served as the prime loca­tion for ‘The Qui­et Man”. With no resources for research or devel­op­ment, I arrived in the small town aid­ed on cam­era by my friend Colm Hogan who lived near­by and more impor­tant­ly had waived any fees, hap­py to set­tle for food and drink as rec­om­pense! We stood on the main street which was like a shrine to ‘The Qui­et Man’. Every shop, pub and restau­rant, was named after char­ac­ters or aspects of the film. I was quite lit­er­al­ly dropped into Quietmansville!

I asked a passer­by if they knew of any­body who had worked on the orig­i­nal film. It was sug­gest­ed that I track down Jack Mur­phy, own­er of the local shop ‘Cohans’ which was used as the main pub in ‘The Qui­et Man’. Dur­ing the film­ing, John Ford had com­man­deered Mur­phy’s shop, renam­ing it ‘Cohans’ and Jack had under­stand­ably left the sign up when the film­ing ended.

With cam­era rolling, I knocked on the door of Cohans pub. Out came Jacks sis­ter, Nan­cy, whose first immor­tal words were: “What’s this doc­u­men­tary for, is there a fes­ti­val or some­thing?” She invit­ed me into her shop and while we wait­ed for Jack, she showed me some of the mem­o­ra­bil­ia from the film that she had on sale. She had a vast array of T‑shirts, mugs, trin­kets and pho­tos, all relat­ing to the film. The cam­era loved Nan­cy and she was imme­di­ate­ly a star, amus­ing and endear­ing in the way she inter­viewed a bus­load of Amer­i­cans who came into the shop. “I think the Amer­i­cans love com­ing in here to hear us telling them lies, I real­ly think they do!” Her broth­er, Jack, final­ly arrived and pre­sent­ed me with a lit­tle book he pub­lished on ‘The Qui­et Man’ and told sto­ries of how he was an extra and had trans­port­ed the cast in his sta­tion wag­on. As the sun went down on a won­der­ful day, Jack recalled Ford as a man “you didn’t want to mess with” and how dif­fi­cult he was, but he admired him because “he was such a per­fec­tion­ist and got the job done.”

Buoyed up by the mate­r­i­al and ideas we had cap­tured on film I went into the edit room and cre­at­ed a small trail­er to show poten­tial investors the mer­its of a doc­u­men­tary on ‘The Qui­et Man’. The idea was reject­ed by every broad­cast­er and fun­der in Ire­land. Five years lat­er, Alan Maher from the Irish Film Board was in our office to talk about anoth­er project and just as he was leav­ing I asked would he have a look at the short pro­mo. Bin­go, he imme­di­ate­ly loved the idea and with­in months we had a full bud­get. With addi­tion­al finance from the BAI and TG4 in place, inter­views and loca­tion film­ing in Ire­land went into full swing. We cap­tured Des McHale the author of sev­er­al books on ‘The Qui­et Man’ tak­ing a bus load of tourists around Cong and telling them how he had stud­ied every frame of the film and sourced all the orig­i­nal loca­tions. In Ford’s ances­tral home of Spid­dal in Con­nemara, we met Ford’s cousin, Nora, a native Irish speak­er. Nora worked on the film as a lin­guist and remem­bered Ford com­ing to Spid­dal, dur­ing breaks from film­ing, vis­it­ing his cousins and his father’s cot­tage, “he spent hours look­ing out to sea and tramp­ing the very same roads his father walked”. A stone’s throw away from Nora’s home, Ford’s cousins the Feeney’s’ showed us Ford’s father’s dilap­i­dat­ed cot­tage which became the mod­el for Sean Thornton’s ‘White O’ Morn’. We met more sur­viv­ing extras from the film, like Bob Foy, who had the role of deliv­er­ing the over­ly large mar­i­tal bed to Thorn­ton. Sto­ries of the film abound­ed: John Ford cer­e­mo­ni­ous­ly turn­ing on the elec­tric­i­ty sup­ply which was rushed in spe­cial­ly for the film, replac­ing the oil lamps; the extras get­ting dou­ble the aver­age wage; the excite­ment of Hol­ly­wood light­ing up the sleepy vil­lage and the many sto­ries of Ford and how he over­saw the whole thing like a gen­er­al in the field of battle.

John Ford statute Portland MaineHe knew that Ire­land was a metaphor for a form of life that he thought was rapid­ly dis­ap­pear­ing and he knew that if he went to Ire­land he could find those forms of life still alive and that they could be remold­ed into an imag­i­na­tive form that would awak­en echoes in a lot of bosoms and so it was the imag­i­nary island of The Qui­et Man that he knew would with­stand the test of time.” William Dowl­ing.

The final hur­dle I had to over­come in order to make the doc­u­men­tary was get­ting to Amer­i­ca to con­duct some prime inter­views. The prob­lem was that I have a long held fear of fly­ing, that began when an air­craft I was on caught fire and end­ed my Jet Set lifestyle. My pro­duc­ers came up with the solu­tion! They booked me the cheap­est berth on the Queen Mary to New York from where I then trav­eled by car with my cam­era­man Patrick Jor­dan to Los Ange­les, stop­ping along the way to cap­ture some stun­ning imagery in Mon­u­ment Val­ley in Ari­zona, Ford’s home away from home and the set­ting for most of his westerns.

He shot nine films there and it was kind of his place real­ly. He dis­cov­ered it for Stage­coach. It had nev­er been used before. It was so iden­ti­fied with him that a lot of peo­ple thought they couldn’t use that loca­tion because it would be like pla­gia­rism.” Peter Bogdanovich.

We cap­tured sev­er­al inter­views with Ford’s friend, the direc­tor Peter Bog­danovich, Joseph McBride, author of ‘Search­ing for John Ford’, Mar­tin Scors­ese a long time admir­er of Ford and Pro­fes­sor William Dowl­ing, who has to be the most pas­sion­ate writer on ‘The Qui­et Man” I have ever encoun­tered. All the con­ver­sa­tions we had built up a pic­ture of Ford as a com­plex genius who, by cre­at­ing a pub­lic per­sona of him­self as the most dif­fi­cult direc­tor in Hol­ly­wood, man­aged to hide his most per­son­al feel­ings from the world, but who bared his soul in ‘The Qui­et Man’.

The Qui­et Man as it came out, is a per­ma­nent way real­ly, in John Ford’s career, of say­ing about all the oth­er films, and I mean here ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ andHow Green Was my Val­ley’, I’m not that John Ford. I remem­ber where I came from and I remem­ber the val­ues of where I came from and I’ve made a film to show you what those val­ues are. It will sur­vive me and it has”.  William Dowl­ing

Peter Bog­danovich, a close friend of Ford, had made a doc­u­men­tary on him, but admit­ted that he was the most dif­fi­cult per­son he ever had to inter­view. We acquired won­der­ful archive from Peter show­ing him fail­ing mis­er­ably to elic­it a direct answer to any of his questions:
Bog­danovich: “How did you film Stage­coach”? Ford: “With a cam­era”.
Bog­danovich realised that Ford hat­ed talk­ing about his work in film and pre­ferred that you fig­ure it out for your­self, but he also knew that Ford was high­ly intel­lec­tu­al and that his films were laced with sub­tle but pro­found com­ments on soci­ety at large.

He didn’t talk much about what he believed in but in his films, fam­i­ly and tra­di­tion and respect for the past, belief in tra­di­tions, he hon­oured that. He wasn’t a great fam­i­ly man him­self. I mean that was the irony of it. His fam­i­ly life was sort of dif­fi­cult I think. Both his son and his daugh­ter were not hap­py peo­ple and I don’t think the mar­riage was that hap­py but in his movies, it’s a dif­fer­ent sto­ry.” Peter Bog­danovich

Bog­danovich gave an illu­mi­nat­ing insight into Ford’s mind and what was per­son­al­ly at stake for him by reveal­ing his inner self in ‘The Qui­et Man’. He point­ed out Ford’s endur­ing love affair with Kather­ine Hep­burn, whom he called Kate, and how he could not bear break­ing up with his wife Mary. “It is no coin­ci­dence that Mau­reen O’Hara’s name in the film is Mary Kate”. He gave the back­ground on how John Wayne is Ford’s alter ego in the film and why Ford gave Wayne the name of his Irish cousin, Sean Thorn­ton. Ford once showed Wayne some footage and asked was he hap­py with his per­for­mance Wayne replied “I’m just play­ing you, Pappy!”

The core notion com­ing out of the Bog­danovich inter­view was that ‘The Qui­et Man’ was a film lit­tered with script­ed allu­sions to Ford’s life and reflect­ed his desire to cre­ate his own per­son­al ‘Innisfree’.The imag­i­nary world of  ‘Inn­is­free’ and the impor­tance of fam­i­ly and tra­di­tion was a cen­tral theme for the writer Joseph McBride:

Moth­ers are very impor­tant to John Ford. In ‘The Qui­et Man’ there’s a beau­ti­ful lit­tle scene where John Wayne comes back and he sees the home where he was raised and he hears the voice of his long dead moth­er and it’s his imag­i­na­tion. It’s very beau­ti­ful but it’s sort of what moti­vates him to come back home. He’s com­ing back to his moth­er in a sense even though she’s gone but her voice emanates from the land­scape. It’s almost like Ire­land is his moth­er”.  Joseph McBride

In New York, Mar­tin Scors­ese told us how great­ly Ford’s films have influ­enced him and how the box­ing scene in ‘The Qui­et Man’ had a big bear­ing on how he shot his own film ‘Rag­ing Bull’. He teased out the ten­sions that the return­ing Yank, Sean Thorn­ton, is liv­ing through as he tries to come to grips with the strange Irish cus­toms of the dowry and why he must fight Mary Kate’s broth­er, Will Danagher, if he is to suc­ceed in win­ning the woman he loves.
“He kills a man in a ring and he’s a good man, Sean, you know, and it’s hard to live with him­self after that so he goes back to his roots and then he has to be accept­ed with­in those roots and he has to then play out the rit­u­al, and the pow­er of the woman in the pic­ture is very strong, the nature of her resis­tance result­ing in the best kiss in motion pic­tures. All the resis­tance and the accep­tance is there, all in one, but she has to deal with it that way. He’s got to deal with it that way. That’s the nature of who they are and where they are. He, of course, is the out­sider and wants to for­get where he’s been and what he’s done but he’s got anoth­er box­ing ring to deal with, not her but the lifestyle, the peo­ple. He’s also got to deal with him­self. He’s got to come to terms with him­self.”  Mar­tin Scorsese

William Dowl­ing believes that in ‘The Qui­et Man’, Ford was mak­ing a state­ment about the new men­tal­i­ty sweep­ing across Amer­i­ca after WW2. He detest­ed the country’s new found love of the dol­lar and pow­er and felt it to be a betray­al of the Amer­i­can Dream that the ear­ly set­tlers, like his par­ents, believed in. Dowl­ing explains how Ford artic­u­lates this is in the dowry sequences in ‘The Qui­et Man’. He believes that Thornton’s refusal to fight for the dowry is the most mis­un­der­stood scene in the film. Dowl­ing real­ly lights up the screen when he describes Sean Thorn­ton drag­ging Mary Kate through a field and drops her at the feet of Red Will Dana­her, declar­ing: “you can take her back, its your cus­tom not mine!” and then pro­ceeds to burn Danaher’s mon­ey in the furnace.

Many fem­i­nists at the time regard­ed this ‘drag­ging’ scene as a chau­vin­is­tic act on the part of Ford, in par­tic­u­lar, the moment when a woman runs up to Thorn­ton and says: “Here’s a stick to beat the love­ly lady with”, but Dowl­ing sees this as Fes­tive Com­e­dy, the build up to wel­com­ing Mary Kate and Sean Thorn­ton as ful­ly fledged mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ty of Innisfree.

‘The stick to beat the love­ly lady with’, That was John Ford’s type of direc­tion, which the whole audi­ence under­stood and knew what it meant. Maybe you didn’t but the audi­ences did (laughs)”. Mau­reen O’Hara.

The most impor­tant inter­view I had was with the won­der­ful Mau­reen O’Hara which came about after sev­er­al years of unsuc­cess­ful requests. Luck arrived after I inter­viewed her nephew, Char­lie Fitzsi­mons, in LA and he put in a good word for me and on my return jour­ney on the Queen Mary, word came through that Mau­reen would be avail­able for an exclu­sive interview.

We filmed Mau­reen at her home in Glen­gar­iff, West Cork. It was an hon­our to have an exclu­sive inter­view with the only liv­ing mem­ber of the main cast. There are too many incred­i­ble nuggets about her mem­o­ry of the film to cat­a­logue here but need­less to say, Ford and his obses­sion with ‘The Qui­et Man” was nev­er far from her mind: “He could be the mean­est, the hard­est, but he was the great­est direc­tor of them all”.

Maureen O'Hara

Mau­reen O’Hara & Sé Mer­ry Doyle

Mau­reen recalled the one time she lost her tem­per with Ford was in the horse rac­ing  scene where he kept telling her to stop blink­ing and she replied: “What would a bald head­ed son of a bitch like you know about keep­ing your eyes open in the sun and when I said it I thought I was going to be assas­si­nat­ed. Every­body thought that’s the end of Mau­reen but he start­ed to laugh and every­body thought, thank God Maureen’s safe”. 

Mau­reen elab­o­rat­ed on one of the most impor­tant aspects of the mak­ing of ‘The Qui­et Man’ fam­i­ly: “Well I don’t know of any oth­er films that were ever made that involved so much of a fam­i­ly. They were all in love with the one thing, Ire­land, you know. It was a love affair”.

It real­ly was a fam­i­ly affair: Maureen’s two broth­ers played the IRA parts; John Wayne’s chil­dren had a cameo in the horse race scene; Bar­ry Fitzger­ald was the Match­mak­er and his broth­er, Arthur Shields, was the Rev­erend Play­fair; Vic­tor McLaglen’s son, Andrew, worked on the pro­duc­tion end; and Ford’s own broth­er, Fran­cis, played Dan Tobin and his son, Pat, worked as a pro­duc­tion assis­tant. To round it all off, Ford deployed the famed Abbey Play­ers for all the minor roles. “It was like a home movie in front of and behind the cam­era, I think the whole world felt that”. Mar­tin Scorsese.

Mau­reen, along­side her broth­er Char­lie and John Ford, com­posed the lyrics for the film ver­sion of ‘Inn­is­free’ and she recit­ed them for me on cam­era. She became very emo­tion­al that she could remem­ber them so well:

Oh Inn­is­free, my island I’m return­ing, from wast­ed years across the Irish sea and when I come back to my own dear island I’ll rest beside you grá mo chroí”. 

Before leav­ing Mau­reen, I had to ask her about the great con­tro­ver­sy that has built up over the years in regard to what she whis­pered in John Wayne’s ear at the end of the film that got such a star­tled reac­tion from him. Bog­danovich reck­ons it had some­thing to with sex. When I asked Mau­reen what she said, she replied: “You can ask but I will not tell. Ford instruct­ed me to say some­thing to Duke and I said, ‘ok, on one con­di­tion, that you swear that nev­er in any time in your life will you reveal what was said.’ I did what I was sup­posed to do and to this day they nev­er told and I will nev­er tell, but Ford got the look from Duke that he wanted.”

The mak­ing of ‘John Ford – Dream­ing the Qui­et Man’ threw up a lot of rev­e­la­tions about Ford and what moti­vat­ed him into the mak­ing of his film. In the end it was a film where Ford sur­round­ed him­self with his fam­i­ly of actors and tech­ni­cians to make his most per­son­al film. Our doc­u­men­tary had its world pre­mier at the Cork Film Fes­ti­val with Mau­reen O’Hara as our spe­cial guest. The Opera House was packed to capac­i­ty break­ing the record pre­vi­ous­ly set by Wern­er Herzog’s ‘Griz­zly Man’. The night was an over­whelm­ing suc­cess with sev­er­al stand­ing ova­tions but the endur­ing mes­sage to me was the desire of so many, young and old, express­ing their desires to see or rewatch the film ‘The Qui­et Man’ with a new sense of inter­est in Ford’s per­son­al moti­va­tion in mak­ing it. The film the had it’s Amer­i­can pre­mier at the Muse­um of Mod­ern Art in New York, pre­sent­ed by Gabriel Byrne. Last but not least the Irish lan­guage ver­sion had it’s pre­mier on TG4. The jour­ney was now complete.

The whole point of ‘The Qui­et Man’ was to make a film that would stand per­ma­nent­ly as a com­ment on his entire career as a Hol­ly­wood direc­tor, and it was to annun­ci­ate his free­dom from that world. ‘The Qui­et Man’ as it came out is a per­ma­nent way real­ly in John Ford’s career, of say­ing about all the oth­er films, and I mean here The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was my Val­ley — all the so-called great films, the ones that are shown in film soci­eties, I’m not that John Ford. I remem­ber where I came from and I remem­ber the val­ues of where I came from and I’ve made a film to show you what those val­ues are. It will sur­vive me and it has.William Dowl­ing.

Jimmy Murakami — Non Alien

The mak­ing of the doc­u­men­tary ‘Jim­my Muraka­mi — Non Alien’ 

In this fea­ture doc­u­men­tary I went on a jour­ney with Jim­my Muraka­mi, the famous Japan­ese Amer­i­can ani­ma­tor of clas­sic films like ‘Snow­man’ and ‘When the Wind Blows’  and revealed the tragedy  he and his fam­i­ly endured in  a Japan­ese Con­cen­tra­tion Camp in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia dur­ing WW2.

Jim­my sad­ly passed away on the 18th Feb­ru­ary 2014.

My name is Jim­my Muraka­mi. Teru­a­ki is the Japan­ese name I was born with. It was tak­en from me in Amer­i­ca after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor’.


Jimmy Murakami painting of the Camp he spent 4 years in at Tule Lake Concentration camp during WW2

Jim­my Muraka­mi paint­ing of the Camp he spent 4 years in at Tule Lake Con­cen­tra­tion camp dur­ing WW2

My fea­ture doc­u­men­tary ‘Jim­my Muraka­mi — Non Alien’ has been doing the rounds at film fes­ti­vals across the globe for the last cou­ple of years, so it feels time­ly to shed some light on the back­ground to how I came across the sto­ry of Jim­my’s trag­ic child­hood in Tule Lake Con­cen­tra­tion Camp.

I first came across Jim­my in the mid eight­ies when I began my career as a film edi­tor in Dublin. In the ear­ly 70’s Jim­my  came to Ire­land to work on the fea­ture film ‘Von Richthofen and Brown’ where he met his future wife Eth­na and set up roots here. He was an exot­ic char­ac­ter on the Dublin film scene and I was in awe of the Oscar nom­i­nat­ed Japan­ese Amer­i­can ani­ma­tor whose cred­its includ­ed ‘When the Wind Blows’ and ‘Snow­man’. While assist­ing him on his films I got to know him rea­son­ably well and viewed some of his ear­ly exper­i­men­tal work like his Oscar nom­i­nat­ed ‘Breath’ and ‘Death of a Bul­let’. In the Dublin bars Jim­my told won­der­ful sto­ries about his film life: direct­ing ‘Bat­tle Beyond the Stars’ for Roger Cor­man, work­ing with David Bowie and Roger Waters from Pink Floyd on the sound­track for ‘When the Wind Blows’. But Jim­my also had a secret from his child­hood that he nev­er shared with any of his friends in Ireland.

Jimmy Murakami and Japanese Internment Camps WW2

The main focus of ‘Jim­my Muraka­mi — Non Alien’  is on Jim­my Murakami’s child­hood trau­ma, when he and his fam­i­ly were interned in an Amer­i­can con­cen­tra­tion camp after Japan attacked Pearl Har­bour in 1942. On the sig­na­ture of Pres­i­dent Roo­sevelt, 140,000 peo­ple of Japan­ese ances­try were giv­en the new label of ‘Non Alien’ and lost their homes and their civ­il rights. After four years in camp, Jim­my’s fam­i­ly set­tled  in LA. He went to Art School and then joined an ani­ma­tion stu­dio and the rest is history.

Sé Merry Doyle & Jimmy Murakami

Sé Mer­ry Doyle & Jim­my Murakami

I would bump into Jim­my Muraka­mi at var­i­ous film events and we would swap sto­ries. One night  he told me that he was writ­ing his mem­oirs and also doing some new paint­ings con­cern­ing his child­hood in Amer­i­ca. I imme­di­ate­ly asked if I could come out to his home and film with him. He showed me his mem­oir and when I read the sec­tion deal­ing with the con­cen­tra­tion camps I knew I had to tell his sto­ry. The gen­e­sis of the com­plet­ed film is built around the nine paint­ings Jim­my showed me that day. They became the basis for some won­der­ful ani­ma­tion sequences cre­at­ed by Jim­my’s great friend Gui­do Orlan­di. The paint­ings are main­ly rep­re­sen­ta­tions of Jim­my’s impris­on­ment  in Tule Lake Con­cen­tra­tion Camp in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia. He had tried to block this trag­ic episode out of his mind but was now going to con­front it in the only way he knew how, through his art!

'Leaving Home' Murakami Family packing up to go to Tule Lake concentration Camp. Exclusive to 'Jimmy Murakami - Non Alien'

Leav­ing Home’ Muraka­mi Fam­i­ly pack­ing up to go to Tule Lake con­cen­tra­tion Camp. Exclu­sive to ‘Jim­my Muraka­mi — Non Alien’

The first paint­ing in the series shows Jim­my’s dad load­ing all his earth­ly pos­ses­sions onto  his 1954 yel­low Ford, moments before his wife and 4 young chil­dren would begin their long jour­ney to Tule Lake Camp in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia. They would nev­er see their lit­tle farm again. Jim­my was only 8 years old but still has vivid mem­o­ries of this time. Signs appeared every­where inform­ing all peo­ple of Japan­ese ances­try to assem­ble for trans­porta­tion to con­cen­tra­tion camps. Tule Lake became the biggest camp hold­ing 40,000 inmates. Jim­my’s per­son­al sto­ries of the time are the heart of the film. How his old­er sis­ter died in the camp from Leukemia. How tanks and mil­i­tary sur­round­ed the camp and vio­lence was endem­ic. How frus­trat­ed pris­on­ers allied them­selves to the Emper­or and vowed to return to Japan. The major­i­ty of those interned con­sid­ered them­selves  Amer­i­cans and were angry at being impris­oned for crimes they had no part in.  Dur­ing Ronald Rea­gan’s stint as pres­i­dent he apol­o­gized on behalf of the Amer­i­can peo­ple for the injus­tice inflict­ed on the Japan­ese Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty and award­ed all sur­vivors of the camp  $25,000 . Jim­my want­ed to buy a new Cadil­lac and put a sign on it say­ing “Is this what my life is worth?” and then dri­ving it off a cliff. His wife Eth­na point­ed out that their finan­cial cir­cum­stances were bad and per­suad­ed Jim­my to reluc­tant­ly take the cheque.

Freedom Train painting depicts Murakami family leaving Tule Lake concentration camp.

Free­dom Train paint­ing depicts Muraka­mi fam­i­ly leav­ing Tule Lake con­cen­tra­tion camp.

Jim­my Murakami’s  final paint­ing was called ‘Free­dom Train’ it showed the Muraka­mi fam­i­ly hud­dled togeth­er on a train head­ed to LA car­ry­ing the same suit­cas­es they had entered Tule Lake with four years ear­li­er, they also had the ash­es of Jim­my’s sis­ter Sumiko. With lots of research done Loopline Film con­vinced the Irish Arts Coun­cil to award a grant and make a fea­ture doc­u­men­tary on this dark episode in Jim­my’s life. We filmed in Ire­land, and the States, met his broth­er broth­er and sis­ter, and most point­ed­ly, we fol­lowed Jim­my back to Tule Lake where every year there is  cer­e­mo­ny for sur­vivors and their chil­dren. In the end a chance encounter with an old friend took me on a  jour­ney back to Jim­my’s child­hood through his paint­ing and spe­cial­ly com­mis­sioned ani­ma­tion. The film pre­miered to great acclaim at the Dublin Film Fes­ti­val and has gone to inter­na­tion­al screen­ings in Amer­i­ca and Japan.  The film won the ‘Direc­tors Choice Award’  at the Inter­na­tion­al Sacra­men­to Film and Music Fes­ti­val, vot­ed sec­ond best film at the Dublin Film Fes­ti­val and got a show­case screen­ing in Hiroshi­ma. We are cur­rent­ly mak­ing a one hour TV spe­cial for broad­cast­ers. Plans are also afoot to release the film on DVD and Streaming.

Dis­trib­u­tor: Mon­ster Film

John Henry Foley — Sculptor of the Empire

Sculp­tor of the Empire

I was sit­ting under the Daniel O’Con­nell Mon­u­ment in Dublin one sum­mer morn­ing about 3am and my gaze wan­dered up to the edi­fice above me. There stood Daniel in all his swag­ger and all these inter­est­ing char­ac­ters sur­round­ing him. I did not know then the sto­ry about the mon­u­ment and how it came about, but the next day I start­ed research­ing.  Fund­ing came from the Broad­cast­ing Asso­ci­a­tion of Ire­land and TG4 and the quest to unrav­el the many mys­ter­ies of John Hen­ry Foley, the man who cre­at­ed the O’Con­nell Mon­u­ment  began.  I found out that  Foley was regard­ed as. the world’s most pow­er­ful sculp­tor of pub­lic stat­u­ary in his day, that he was born in Dublin, learned his craft at the Roy­al Dublin Soci­ety, and at a very young age was not­ed for his genius. As his fame grew his work was being erect­ed  all over the British Empire, in par­tic­u­lar Britain, Ire­land and India. He became a per­son­al friend of Queen Vic­to­ria and her hus­band Albert. He cre­at­ed Albert and Asia for the Albert Memo­r­i­al in Lon­don. He was work­ing on Albert at the same time as Daniel O’Con­nell, so it must have been strange to see both these works rep­re­sent­ing dif­fer­ent ide­olo­gies, present in the same stu­dio. There is a dark side to the doc­u­men­tary. Long after Foley died a lot of his work became con­tentious because of his asso­ci­a­tion with the Empire. The IRA attacked Lord Gough in the Phoenix Park. Ire­land’s most famous Eques­tri­an stat­ue was blown up, lat­er restored by the Irish Gov­ern­ment and then smug­gled out of Ire­land and  Gough now stands for­lorn in Chill­ing­ham Cas­tle. Robert Guin­ness who arranged the trans­fer has stat­ed “Ire­land can have it back any­time but they must tak­er the rid­er as well as the horse”. There is a hilar­i­ous moment in the film where Sen­a­tor David Nor­ris reads ‘The Bal­lad of Gough’ by Vin­cent Caprani. Anoth­er odd­i­ty is how Foley’s Dublin stat­ue of Prince Albert was hid­den in the car park of Dail Eire­ann, with spe­cial­ly plant­ed trees con­ceal­ing him, for fear of attack by repub­li­cans. Still, Foley has more works on dis­play in Ire­land than any oth­er artist. Father Matthew in Cork, Ben­jamin Guin­ness, in Saint Patrick­’s Cathe­dral, Oliv­er Gold­smith and Edmund Burke in Trin­i­ty Col­lege, and Edmund Burke out­side Ire­land’s old Par­lia­ment on Col­lege Green. India took a dif­fer­ent response than Ire­land to it’s Empire stat­ues. After inde­pen­dence they round­ed up all the stat­u­ary imposed on them and moved them to sculp­tur­al grave­yards. I dis­cov­ered great archive of this and used it for the film. India made one excep­tion and released Foley’s stat­ue of Lord Out­ram from cap­tiv­i­ty. This stat­ue of Out­ram on his horse was so loved by the peo­ple of Cal­cut­ta that by pub­lic pres­sure he was moved to the Vic­to­ria muse­um and is now enjoyed for the art rather than the sym­bol. The moti­va­tion for the film start­ed on that sum­mer night many years ago and the result, I hope, is a chal­lenge to us all, of find­ing a way of pre­serv­ing our past her­itage, good or bad, so that future gen­er­a­tions can learn their own history.