Zeughauskino Berlin
10.-27. Oktober 2019

Seamus Heaney and the music of what happens

Shortly after his death on August 30, 2013, 80.000 people who had gathered in Dublin to watch the All-Ireland Football semi-finals, commemorated the Irish poet Seamus Heaney with a moment of silence followed by applause. A literary figure honored by sports fans certainly shows the high regard he enjoys in his own country, but Heaney was a much-loved poet far beyond the borders of Ireland.
To comprehend such popularity, Adam Low focuses his film around Heaney’s poems themselves. They are at the center of his intimate portrait that eschews a narrator and concentrates on contributions of immediate family, close friends, and a few students. Seamus Heaney and the music of what happens retraces Heaney’s life story, his rural origin, the beginnings of his career during The Troubles, his marriage and family life, the visiting professorship at Harvard and the receiving of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. The film reveals that Heaney’s writing is deeply rooted in his history and the places of his earliest childhood.
“All poems are, in a sense, born out of infancy.” Poems originate from this early silence that is followed by the desire to speak. Time and again, Seamus Heaney has used his voice to express this fundamental desire.


Adam Low

Adam Low' documentaries have won numerous prizes in both Europe and the USA, such as, among others, "The Private Dirk Bogarde "(BBC Arena), which won Best Arts Documentary at the British Association of Film and Television Arts Awards (BAFTA) 2002. His film about the great Italian director Luchino Visconti, "The Life and Times of Count Luchino Visconti", won Best Arts Documentary at the 2003 International EMMY Awards in New York as well as the Prix Italia for Best Arts Documentary in 2004. "Bacon’s Arena", a ninety-minute portrait of the painter Francis Bacon was awarded the Gold Plaque for Best Arts Documentary at the Chicago International Film Festival (The Hugos) 2006. In 2010 Low produced and directed "Arena: T.S. Eliot", which won the prestigious Grierson Award for Best Documentary on the Arts. "Alan Bennett and the Habit of Art" won the 2011 Royal Television Society Award for Best Arts Documentary. "Alan Bennett’s Diaries", about the legendary British playwright, was nominated for 2017 BAFTA Award, and "The Triumphs and Laments of William Kentridge" (BBC Imagine), won a Gold Hugo at the 2017 Chicago International Film Festival. "Stop All The Clocks: W.H. Auden in an Age of Anxiety" for BBC Two received a nomination for a 2018 Scottish Royal Television Society Award and "The Private Life of the Royal Academy", a feature length film about the Royal Academy of Arts in London was shown on BBC Two in 2018.