Vatican screening for Kerry film inspired by Pope’s green message, but little interest from officialdom at home says director
PATRICK Brendan O’Neill’s film The Uncountable Laughter of The Sea, a work celebrating our relationship to language and our environment, entirely shot in County Kerry, will be screened in a special event at the Vatican on March 5.
The film takes inspiration from Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment ‘Laudato si’ with the late Mons.Padraig O’Fiannachta acting as the guiding spirit on what is a unique meditative journey.
Irish Ambassador to The Holy See, Emma Madigan, will host an evening where The Uncountable Laughter of The Sea will be introduced by Bishop Paul Tighe, recently appointed Secretary to The Pontifical Council for Culture by Pope Francis. The film was chosen by The Museum of Modern Art in NYC with President Michael D Higgins attending the Irish premier in Tralee, hailing the film as a work of Art: “It’s an elemental and beautiful film, combining powerful cinematography with the spiritual contemplation of the wonder of nature, such a great contribution to heritage, it is a work of Art, a wonderful and moving experience.”
Hollywood Stars such as Susan Sarandon and Rosario Dawson are fans, and The Irish Film and Television Network described the film ‘as calling to mind Martin Scorsese’ Silence’. Aer Lingus aired the film on their Transatlantic flights.
Director Patrick Brendan O’Neill who also runs his family business O’Neill’s Bed & Breakfast in Ballyheigue has been selling DVD’s to guests who are taking this unique insight into County Kerry back home to regions across the world.
He is delighted with this latest acknowledgement for the film, but said he is mystified as to the apparent lack of interest in the film from official Ireland. Patrick believes it represents a great selling point for the Kingdom overseas.
“Over the two-year period since the film’s premiere in New York, we cannot get any official involved in promoting tourism, from TDs to ministers to members of councils, to incorporate the film as a promotional tool in their tourist strategy.
“It has proved an environment of indifference, while the film’s message is nothing but positive, their silence is incomprehensible, as if the film never happened,” Patrick said.
Patrick Brendan O’Neill (centre at back) and the late Mons Ó Fiannachta (seated) with President Michael D and Sabina Higgins, Patrick’s father Donal and family members at the Irish premiere of The Uncountable Laughter of the Sea - which is to screen in the Vatican.