Wednesday, December 11, 2013
I've written before about You Tube. There is so much more to this website than rap music and Uncle Martin performing Danny Boy on his accordion. Two documentaries I've seen and recommend are:
Death or Canada/Fleeing the Famine
part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVYdmqnYHZo
part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfmhVYCJ6M U
This is a full length documentary that tells the parallel stories of the search in modern day Toronto for the location of a fever hospital established for Irish famine immigrants pouring into Toronto in Black '47 and the Willises, one of those immigrant families who arrived that year. This film brought home the horror and heartbreak of the tragedy like no other film I've viewed. The scene at the docks brought tears to my eyes.
The second documentary is The Irish in America:Long Journey Home
part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xONqZXzQ1yY
part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybntHGbrPAs
part 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOWfr9Ysuok
This aired on PBS a few years ago, and like all their documentaries is very well done. It opens with the famine and continues on through the 20th century. The story of Al Smith, and his attempt to become the first Catholic president figures prominently.
Lastly, I want to mention a short Irish film, around 15 minutes in length about the Portumna workhouse. It's very informative, and I found the lilt of the Irish voices of the narrators alone made it worth viewing. There's so much to be found at You Tube, from history to travelogues--take a look around.