Concern films

Published in 20th-century / Contemporary History, General, Issue 6 (Nov/Dec 2008), Letters, Volume 16

Sir,—Thank you very much for your article on the Concern filmcollection in the last issue (Film Eye, pp 46–7), which has recentlycome under the stewardship of the Irish Film Archive. I would like toclarify some points, which I feel are of importance when discussingthis particular collection. Writer Tom Lodge states that the films inthe Concern collection were made for the purpose of fund-raising: thisis only partially true. The Concern collection contains films made bythe organisation itself for fund-raising purposes and also films madeby other organisations that document subjects of interest to Concern,e.g. Night Flight to Uli (on which the article focused), a film thatwas not produced by Concern but rather was included in Concern’scollection as a document of their earliest days in Biafra. That filmwas one of c. 400 documentaries produced between 1961 and 1996 by therenowned Radharc team (www.radharc.ie for further information), and itis important that this fact is acknowledged. It should also be notedthat Bishop Joseph Whelan is mistakenly identified in one scenedetailing a market-place visit. In fact it is Radharc’s own PeterLemass who outlines the inflated prices that placed staple goods out ofthe reach of most Biafrans. We at the Irish Film Archive hope that thisfascinating collection of Irish advocacy films will provide freshperspectives for future researchers interested not only in film culturebut also in Irish aid work throughout the world. We welcome enquiriesabout the collection from both researchers and the public(www.irishfilm.ie/archive).

—Yours etc.,
JENNA LOGAN
Collections Researcher
Irish Film Archive

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