A FANATIC HEART: BOB GELDOF ON W.B. YEATS

(2016) 2 X 52 mins & 1 x 100 mins
 

In this absorbing documentary, Geldof, a self confessed devotee of the great Irish Nobel Prize winning poet, traces how W.B. Yeats led the way in imagining a new, proud, strong Ireland into being after The Famine – and how, after centuries of colonial oppression, he gave the people of Ireland back a story they could believe in and fight for. As Gogarty said, there is no Free State without Yeats. By which he meant that Ireland does not exist without the poet.

Through interviews with Yeatsian aficionado and biographer Roy Foster and performances of some of Yeats’ most iconic poems by leading Irish and British cultural figures, Geldof reveals how the poet and others built the scaffolding of a new independent Ireland decades before the Rising – but how Yeats’ vision for a modern, pluralist, inclusive Ireland was pushed aside by the narrow-minded Catholic elite of the new Free State: the Banana Republic that Geldof in his Boomtown Rats lead singer/songwriter persona, rebelled against decades later.