Director Ciara Nic Chormaic writes about her latest film, Aisling trí Néallaibh/ Clouded Reveries on the life and work of poet and writer, Doireann Ní Ghríofa.
I have been a fan of Doireann Ní Ghríofa's writing since I picked up one of her early collections of poetry and was immediately drawn in by how she crafts floating or liminal thoughts into beautiful pieces of art, elevating her domestic life into moments of magic realism, finding art in everyday things.
Mothaím uaireanta go mbíonn sé an-dheacair an cheist - cén fáth gur shocraigh tú scánnán a dhéanamh ar dhuine a fhreagairt, mothaím gur rud fochoinsiasach a bhíonn i gceist leis go minic i mo chása, agus mar gheall go raibh an-mheas agus spéis agam i bhfilíocht Dhoireann rinne mé cinneadh teagmháil a dhéanamh léí agus a cuid saothair a phlé, bhí a fhios agam go mbeadh an-spéis agam scannán a dhéanamh fuithí ach ag an am ní raibh fhios agam cén sort scannán a bheadh ann.
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When we met for coffee for the first time during Christmas of 2019 she told me that she had had just finished the final draft of her first novel A Ghost in the Throat and she gave me a proof to read. I was transfixed by how she had blended her story with that of Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill, author of Caoineadh Art Uí Laoghaire.
I was immediately struck by the fearlessness of the writing, brimming with authenticity, desire and passion. All of these elements had the makings for a very cinematic film, blending a modern contemporary Irish language writer with that of another across, a three hundred year divide.
De bharr na pandéime, cuireadh moill ar an taifeadadh agus mothaím gur bhuntáiste iontach a bhí ann mar d’fhag sé sin go raibh i bhfad níos mó ama againn chun plé domhain a bheith againn faoi gach gné dá saol agus saothar agus d’fhás an cairdeas eadarainn.
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As filming progressed it became clear that this film was going to be firmly rooted in her homeplace in Co Clare, the source of all her inspiration, and cuts to the very core of her writing. We spent an extended period of time in Clare filming at her grandmother Mai’s house with Doireann. Along spending time capturing the visuals, the sounds within the house and surrounding farm were very important to me to capture in order to truly represent soundscape of Doireann’s early life.
Doireann is a wonderful performer of her own work and has an arresting presence on screen. I felt it was important to give space to the selected poems in their entirety, and to film these pieces in an uncomplicated way, so as not to take away from the power of the words.
Fuair an scannán tacaíocht ó TG4 agus an Comhairle Ealaíon faoi an scéim iLDÁNA agus tá sé sa phictiúrlann ar fud na tíre fé láthair.