A Boatload of Wild Irishmen
Directed by Mac Dara O Curraidhin • Documentary • 2011 • 84 minutes
Robert Flaherty (1884-1951) was the man credited with being the father of the modern documentary film after he produced and directed 'Nanook of the North' in 1922. Flaherty is one of the great name directors in the history of cinema and to this day films such as 'Nanook of the North', 'Moana', 'Man of Aran' and 'Louisiana Story' are widely regarded as classics and still regularly screened.
Flaherty is also a controversial figure in that he was also the first to show that filming the everyday life of real people could be molded into dramatic, entertaining narratives. The minute he chose to stage scenes in order to make a better film out of his seminal Inuit project 'Nanook of the North', he was opening documentary's Pandora's Box. And with his later work in Samoa, the Aran Islands and Louisiana first raised such enduring topics of documentary ethics as ethnographic falsification, exploitation of one's subjects and the perils of corporate sponsorship.
Written by Brian Winston, A BOATLOAD OF WILD IRISHMEN is entertaining portrait of Flaherty that shrewdly looks beyond standard polemical positions to present a complex view of the man and his work.
"A long overdue portrait...A BOATLOAD OF WILD IRISHMEN makes a particularly important contribution in that it captures some of the histories that have been created, sustained, and recreated by those most closely effected by Flaherty's films." -Leonardo Digital Reviews