National and International Images of Independence in the Historical Cinema of Ireland and China
By Armida de la Garza, UCC Digital Arts and Humanities
As part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of 1916, an IRC-sponsored project organised by Drs Armida de la Garza and Finola Doyle-O’Neill from UCC saw Chinese students from partner universities enter a competition to make their own short remix videos of Irish and Chinese historical films, showing how the crucial events in the history of the two nations have been portrayed by their national cinemas.
Young students from Shanghai, Beijing, and Sichuan entered the competition, for which they viewed films such as ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’, ‘Michael Collins’ and ‘Ryan’s daughter’, becoming familiar with these versions of Irish history. And then they looked for similar images of war, leadership and sacrifice in the historical films of their own country, to produce an original work that showcased their learning.
Ren Zhenghao, a 20 year-old student from Sichuan who won the competition, explained:
“It is hard to connect China and Ireland for the two countries are far away. But they have a similar history. Both of them got united and fought for sovereignty and freedom. Also, both of them had a civil war after the War of Independence. The Chinese people fought against the Japanese imperialism and the Irish people fought against the British. Both of them have a hard and bloody history, which we should remember. And we should cherish the peaceful life […] The way we made the video was to cut the movie into pieces and get the similar plot together and incidental music for the video. Just like a montage.”
Are you curious about the video? Come and see it at St Peter’s Cork, the official venue for the 1916 commemoration events and one of the most beautiful buildings in the City! It will be shown until 22 December!
St Peter’s Manager Eileen O’Shea (right) and organiser Armida de la Garza (left) at St Peter’s in Cork City Centre.