Oidhche Sheanchais

Robert Flaherty

T. int.: Night of the Storyteller. M.: John Goldman. Prod.: Gaumont-British Picture Corporation Ltd. 35mm. D.: 20′. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

The short Oidhche sheanchais affirms Flaherty’s belief in cinema as a mythopoeic and folkloric art. Ireland’s first government-sponsored film, Oidhche sheanchais was funded by a modest £ 200 budget assigned for the production of an Irish language talkie enshrining a vital element of the national heritage. Flaherty directed the film while in London recording the post-synch sound for Man of Aran, using that film’s cast together with Seáinín Tom Ó Dioráin, a renowned Aran island storyteller. Unlike Man of Aran, Oidhche sheanchais was recorded entirely in Irish. Prior to the film’s release the Irish Press distributed a dialogue transcript to ensure that “children will… not miss any of the beauty and subtlety of the story it tells”.

Haden Guest, Sunniva O’Flynn

Copy From

Restored by Harvard Film Archive from a 35mm nitrate print discovered at Harvard University in 2013