Cine Gael Irish film series,
six down, three to go

Next in line is the popular evening of Irish film shorts

By Byron Toben

Montreal’s wonderful Irish Film Series, Cine Gael, the largest in the world outside of Ireland itself, keeps plugging along in this, its 27th year.

Long time aficionados, like me, relish the chance to see a fine selection of fictional, documentary and unique films, few of which acquire general release here, in a cosy atmosphere, often with Skype interviews après with the directors or actors.

The nine-film program is spread out over five months, from January to May. Readers may recall my opening film review of Black ’47, which was published on January 11. It was about the terrible times of the Great Hunger.

Cine Gael 2019 -

Shelter Me: Apollo House

Coming upon Friday, April 5 is the perennial favourite, an evening of short films on which the audience can vote for their favourites.

In between were five films for which readers can see highlighted trailers in the Cine Gael Season program, designed by Web master wizard Antoine Maloney.

Long time aficionados, like me, relish the chance to see a fine selection of fictional, documentary and unique films, few of which acquire general release here…

In reverse order, they include music fan Maloney’s favourite Lomax in Eirrin shown on March 22. Mr Lomax, famous for preserving Black American folk music, also later did the same for rural, often isolated performers in Ireland.

On March 8, the selection was a documentary called Shelter Me: Apollo House. This was a documentary where homeless advocates in Dublin commandeered a vacant government office building as a dormitory for a growing number of homeless when the Celtic Tiger prosperity fizzled. Jim Sheridan, perhaps Ireland’s most famous film producer/director, was in the activist group involved.

Cine Gael 2019 -

No Stone Unturned

In the audience was Montreal painter Verona Sorensen who organizes a periodic service for our local homeless, called Food For Thought For The Homeless. The kind folk at Cine Gael, hearing this, then donated foodstuffs and other items to her project.

February 28 showing Rocky Ros Muc was about a boxer from that tiny poor town in Ireland who became a contender for a world championship in Boston, only to fall short in the final match.

February 8 was another boxing related film, Float Like A Butterfly, wherein a tough teenaged red-haired “traveller” lass, influenced by Mohammed Ali, took up boxing and was able to best male opponents,

On January 25, No Stone Unturned was a “cold case” reopening of a terrible slaughter of football fans watching a game in a pub. Again trailers of all these films can be seen on the Cine Gael Season program.

Feature image: Float Like A Butterfly
Images: courtesy of Cine Gael
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Read more articles from Byron Toben

Byron Toben, a past president of The Montreal Press Club, has been’s theatre reviewer since July 2015. Previously, he wrote for since terminated web sites Rover Arts and Charlebois Post, print weekly The Downtowner and print monthly The Senior Times. He also is an expert consultant on U.S. work permits for Canadians.

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