Movie about an 8-year-old atheist aired again on Irish TV
The multi-award winning short film Rúbaí – the story of a young girl’s impending first Holy Communion and her refusal be part of the silly ritual – was recently aired for the second time on the TG4 channel.
TG4 first broadcast the Irish-language film was part of … wait for it … its Easter weekend schedule in 2015.
Rúbaí, according to this report, is an independent and spirited child, wise beyond her eight years and she is definitely not the typical Irish girl. Her point of view is just different to everyone else’s.
Rúbaí is told by her teacher that the First Holy Communion, a bastion of Irish tradition and culture, is fast approaching but Rúbaí flatly refuses to be a part of the classroom preparation.
She’s an atheist and proud of it and whilst she is happy to stand by her convictions the wider society has a problem with such an independent girl and her convictions.
Rúbaí is played by the talented young actor Doireann Ní Fhoighil, 8, from Indreabhán, Co Galway.
Her touching performance as Rúbaí was her first acting job but she has won over audiences in Ireland, the UK, Europe and North America. In 2014, she scooped the award for Best Actor at the Irish Language Media. Doireann currently features as the character Áine in TG4’s soap, Ros na Rún.
Announcing the second screening of the film, The Journal quoted the film’s director, Louise Ní Fhiannachta as saying that Rúbaí:
Faces emotional blackmail, religious and philosophical debate and out-and-out intolerance in today’s supposedly diverse and modern Ireland.
Ní Fhiannachta added that the subject matter of the film is very timely, given the current debate around religion in schools.
I didn’t want to make a controversial film, I wanted to make a film about a little independent thinker, who would really send a message out and challenge our traditions in society.
The story is universal and I suppose on a national level Rúbaí is a new voice in modern Ireland who challenges our traditions. There’s a huge change happening in Ireland at the moment, especially with the arts.
Rúbaí recently won the jury prize for Best Short in its category at the Babel Film Festival in Sardinia, which is a festival for films in minority languages. Among its many other accolades are the Cleveland International Film Festival’s Programmer’s Choice Award and the Children’s Jury Award at this year’s Alé Kino in Poland. It was also selected to screen at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in 2014.
Hat tip: Peter Sykes