New book from Peter Lang – Visions of Ireland: Gael Linn’s Amharc Éireann Film Series, 1956–1964


Visions of Ireland: Gael Linn’s Amharc Éireann Film Series, 1956–1964

By B. Mairéad Pratschke

Oxford: Peter Lang

287 pp. | ISBN 978-3-0343-1872-3 | £42.00

The Amharc Éireann film series (literally translated as Views/Visions of Ireland) was a cultural nationalist project sponsored by Gael Linn, an organization whose mandate was the revitalization of the Irish language through the use of modern media and technology. It was produced by Colm Ó Laoghaire, a member of a well-known Irish literary and nationalist family, the Plunketts. As the first and longest-running Irish-language documentary and news-film series, Amharc Éireann represented an attempt on the part of a few committed Irish-language enthusiasts to present Ireland to the Irish in a way that would instil a sense of pride in the country, and to promote the language in a way that the public would accept. Created during a period of rapid social, economic and political change, it reflects and records the dramatic transformation of Ireland from a rural, underdeveloped and relatively isolated nation into a modern member of the international economic and political community.

Contents: ‘The Eyes of Ireland’ short documentary films – Industrial and rural development – Landscape, heritage tourism and women’s work – The ‘Gaelic News’ reels – National commemoration and symbolic locations – Decolonization and diaspora – Industry, urbanization and architectural heritage – Rural life and new technology – Irish language and culture.

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