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Documentary charting the history of the city will show at festival

Healing of a Wounded City

By Paul Ainsworth

THE annual Belfast Film Festival is returning this month, and with it comes a brand new Irish language documentary charting the history of the city over the last 100 years. The new film, titled ‘Cathair Ghonta’ (Wounded City), is produced by Bóthar Ard, the filmmaking arm of the Belfast Media Group, publishers of the South Belfast News, and sister publications the Andersonstown News and North Belfast News.

Commissioned by Irish language channel TG4, ‘Cathair Ghonta’ is making its debut in this year’s festival, before being screened on TG4 in the autumn.

Directed by Tom Seoighe, and narrated by Gaeilgeoir Ainle O Cairealláin, the buzz around festival organisers is that the resulting documentary is a “stylish but hard-hitting” look at Belfast over the last century, and how it went from a booming industrial city, to war zone, and back to a city filled with promise.

Director Tom explained: “We are trying to present a balanced view of the city over the last 100 years, and wanted to show how it’s developed, especially in recent years, as it’s almost come full circle.

“During my own sporadic visits to the North over the years, it’s impossible for me not to notice just how much Belfast has changed for the better. Although we can’t ignore the Troubles, and they are a major part of the city’ s recent history that will take up the ‘middle third’ of our film, we were conscious that we would end the film with a real sense of optimism, to reflect the mood of Belfast today. It was a wounded city, as the title suggests, but as with most wounds, it is healing itself.”

Cathair Ghonta will be screened at the new Museum Arts Centre on June 5, and will be followed by a question and answer session, featuring Tom and others involved with the film.

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