There was a reminder of the Irish go-go ’90s Sunday night at the Oscars in Hollywood, that being a time when we were cheering on the likes of Jim Sheridan, Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker and, yes, Terry George, at the annual gathering of the film world’s luminaries.
Things have been a little quieter on the Oscar front in more recent years, but last Sunday evening Terry George brought us roaring back a long way by means of a short – this being his Oscar-winning short drama “The Shore,” with which he shared Oscar glory with his daughter, Oorlagh.
For George, Terry that is, it was third time the charm. The Belfast-born director had been an Oscar nominee twice in the past, for “In the Name of the Father,” and “Hotel Rwanda.”
Both movies dealt with troubles, the North version, and those visited on one of Africa’s smaller nations.
“The Shore” moves things on a bit as it focuses on a man who has returned to his homeland after a 25-year exile spurred by darker times.
There is an element of the autobiographical in the film as George himself is a son of more troubled days in Ireland.
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His daughter, of course, is of another generation, but the collaboration between father and daughter in this screen triumph is something more than being merely a warm-hearted family story.
It’s also a reminder of the importance of
one generation handing down its story to the next.
It was also an example of the next generation reaching back, learning about, and preserving the past so that it is accessible and understandable to future generations.
“The Shore,” in this regard, is part of a
wider project involving many more people
in Ireland who are working to replace the misunderstandings of too many years with a new spirit of reconciliation for the years yet to be.
Terry George said as much in his brief acceptance speech: “Our little film was
inspired by the people of Northern Ireland, Protestant and Catholic, who, after 30 years of war … proved to the world the Irish are great talkers.”
So hats off to Terry, and hats off to Oorlagh, whose name now stands tall beside that of her father.