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The New York Premiere of ‘Nuala’

The New York Times best selling memoirist Nuala O’Faolain grew up in an insular, church-dominated Ireland where mens’ views and concerns mattered, and women’s hardly at all. Despite that she lived a rich, intellectual life working variously as a documentary film maker, literature professor, novelist, newspaper columnist and memoirist. 

O’Faolain barely survived a destitute childhood dominated by her alcoholic mother and philandering father. In her journey through adulthood she stumbled through her own alcohol problems and men who treated her badly. She first recounted her life in blunt and vivid detail in her international bestselling memoir Are You Somebody? Her story was unique in terms of the breath of her literary achievements and the conflicts and contradictions that bedeviled her personal life.

In this award-winning feature documentary by Patrick Farrelly and Kate O’Callaghan, her friend, the prominent Irish broadcaster Marian Finucane goes behind the dramatic episodes of O’Faolain’s life to paint a personal picture of a woman struggling without a road map and with only her own fierce intelligence to guide her. 

Shortly after making a new life in New York she was diagnosed with cancer. She felt the bitter irony of it all, a cruel blow just when she’d finally learned how to live. O’Faolain organized her own passing from the world in the same blunt, public and courageous fashion as she lived her life.

This is a warts-and-all film that looks at the decisions people make in order to survive in their personal and creative lives. Nuala is also Marian Finucane’s journey of discovery into her friend’s life as well as a raw and vivid testimony to the enduring power of friendship.

Authors Colm Tóibín and Sheridan Hay—both of whom feature in the film—will take part in a post-screening conversation about O’Faolain and the film’s narrator and producer, Marian Finucane, who died recently in Ireland.


For more information, visit origintheatre.org.

Category: Film
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