During the Depression, Jimmy Gralton returns home to Ireland after ten years of exile in America. Seeing the levels of poverty and oppression, the activist in him reawakens and he looks to re-open the dance hall that led to his deportation.
1987, love in time of war. A bus driver George Lennox meets Carla, a Nicaraguan exile living a precarious, profoundly sad life in Glasgow. Her back is scarred, her boyfriend missing, her ... See full summary »
1932. Jimmy Gralton is back home in the Irish countryside after ten years of forced exile in the USA. His widowed mother Alice is happy, Jimmy's friends are happy, all the young people who enjoy dancing and singing are happy. Which is not the case of Father Sheridan, the local priest, nor of the village squire, nor of Dennis O'Keefe, the chief of the fascists. The reason is simple: Jimmy is a socialist activist. So when the "intruder" reopens the village hall, thus enabling the villagers to gather to sing, dance, paint, study or box, they take a dim view of the whole thing. People who think and unite are difficult to manipulate, aren't they? From that moment on they will use every means possible to get rid of Jimmy and his "dangerous" hall. Written by
Tobacco consumption (cigarettes, snuff and pipes) was extremely widespread at the time, yet none of the characters are seen to smoke, even at raucous social occasions. See more »
We need to take control of our lives again. Work for need, not for greed. And not just to survive like a dog, but to live. And to celebrate. And to dance, to sing, as free human beings.
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During the opening credits, black and white news reel footage of New York in the 1920s, accompanied by jazz music, is shown. See more »
During the uncertain times of late 1920's Ireland an arrival from New York upsets the life of a small rural community.
How did he do that? He set up a dance hall, how scandalous. Whilst by and large the locals embraced it and it provided them with a focal point there was opposition. The church led the way, and some local conservatives followed. By branding them as communists provided their arguments with some supposed gravity. What went on in that hall was open for all to see, yet it met with fierce opposition.
The film puts the two worlds into focus. One view is that change is reprehensible, things ought to stay as they are. The opposing view wants change, people to be free from oppression. The newcomer brought some new ideologies as well as lots of controversy.
Both sides are unchangeable in their positions, no one is prepared to backtrack and a clash is unavoidable. Can the idealist modernist challenge the ultra powerful church orthodoxy?
A mighty tale about old and new in the battlefield of ideas.
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