Song of Granite

An almost radiant biopic in black and white, which tells the story of Irish Folk singer Joe Heaney, born 1919 in Caran, Galway – about the Irish countryside he grew up in and the people he grew up with, about his musical career. Cork born Pat Collins’ direction presents Joe Heaney’s life as one long, “musically-visual” ballad for the ear and the eye, composed of calm shots that take time to establish visual perspectives: sometimes to open spaces around characters, sometimes to crowd in on them. We initially see Heaney as a small boy. The camera focusses on his face. He is in bed and obviously unable to fall asleep. With tears in his eyes, he sings himself a song to help calm him down. In the next shot he is six years old. He is rambling through the wide Irish countryside in Galway, it is springtime, but dark clouds threaten in the surrounding hills. A cuckoo calls. In the evening, a group of people sit around an old man telling stories. Later: Scenes from schooldays, the severity of religious instruction, taxing singing lessons: He should open his mouth wider, articulate the lyrics more clearly, a teacher admonishes him. Heaney is a shy boy, that much quickly becomes apparent. Then again, he does have musical talent… Three actors portray Heaney in the different phases of his life, starting in childhood and ending with the years prior to his death. Jolm Seoighe portrays the young Joe Heaney, Michael O’Chonfhlaola the adult, and Macdara Ó Fátharta the older man. Pat Collins shows how the untamed Irish countryside shaped the singer’s personality and the myths, legends and songs that Heaney grew up with in Connemara – as well as the sacrifices and personal losses Heaney had to endure while dedicating his life to folk music.

International Newcomer / Discoveries 2017
104 Min., Pat Collins | Ireland – Canada 2017
Original language: English, Gaelic
for eighteens and over due to no FSK age rating

Mannheim:
Wednesday, 15. November, 17:00, Kino im Stadthaus II
Friday, 17. November, 22:00, Kino im Stadthaus I

Heidelberg:
Thursday, 16. November, 21:00, Kino II
Friday, 17. November, 16:00, Kino I