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A Terrible Beauty/Áille an Uafáis ·



A Terrible Beauty... in this video, extracts from the film are intercut with commentary from the Producer Dave Farrell and Director Keith Farrell giving an insight into how the story evolved.

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    A Terrible Beauty… background to story.

    A Terrible Beauty… background to story.

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    A Terrible Beauty English 6min Promo

    A Terrible Beauty English 6min Promo

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    A Terrible Beauty....

    A Terrible Beauty....

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    Easter Rebellion 1916

    Easter Rebellion 1916

A Terrible Beauty/Áille an Uafáis ... a 93 minute feature docudrama is set during the Irish Rebellion of 1916. It will screen at various locations in the UK and North American over the next eighteen months.


The official release date for A Terrible Beauty/Áille an Uafáis is April 2014

A Terrible Beauty/Áille an Uafáis

  93 minute HD docudrama

The Story

They marched along tree lined Northumberland Road, cheered on by the citizens of Dublin. One thousand men of the “pals” brigade of the Sherwood Foresters. Poorly trained and poorly led they expected to be in France that morning. Perplexed at finding themselves in Dublin instead, they laughed and joked as they marched along buoyed up by the cheers of their fellow British citizens. Within hours almost 200 of the “pals” lay dead or wounded, their injuries inflicted by just 17 men of the rebel Irish Volunteers. This was the Battle of Mount Street Bridge, the 26th of April 1916.

This was the British army’s first major experience of urban warfare as two battalions of the Sherwood Foresters were marched into a withering fire of well defended enemy positions. At the height of the First World War, just months before the carnage of the Somme, the soldiers met their fate, not at the hands of the German Army in France, but during 5 days of street fighting against fellow British citizens in the second city of the British Empire, Dublin.

Many of the troops were only half way through their training. The young men of the Sherwood Foresters were not supposed to die on British soil. They are part of the hidden story of a forgotten conflict lost in the chaos of the First World War; their names are not remembered on any monument, their deaths unrecorded in the official war records, their sacrifice forgotten.

A Terrible Beauty...... is a dark story which does not sit comfortably with the traditional lionised imagery of what transpired during the rising. The first hand account of the British soldier, Irish Volunteer and civilian are interwoven, giving a fresh perspective on these key events and challenging some traditional views of what took place. We have unearthed long forgotten first-hand historical accounts of both soldiers and civilians which will provide the basis for much of the narrative. This  docudrama is unique, with the voices of the protagonists on both sides and the tragic civilians caught in the middle being heard for the first time.

The Style

The docudrama shot on HD Camera HD16:9 has been master graded to give the colours a dark muted look. Using actual first hand accounts, our characters will talk to camera as if been interviewed after the event and these sequences will be intercut with the drama, to add to the documentary “feel”. 

Existing archive has been used at the beginning and end of the programme to illustrate the major historic moments and establish the background story to the events leading up to the rising of 1916, with the scripted drama elements depicting  key events in the rising and the actions of individuals.

The story is built around eye witness accounts and the post war writings of the men and women caught up in the events of Easter 1916.  Quoting directly from both the Bureau of Military History and the Royal Commission statements our actors bring to life these long dead participants of the rising.

A Terrible Beauty......, tells the story of the rising through the eyes of the ordinary people caught up in the very real drama that played out on the streets of Dublin in April 1916. The viewer is brought  to the centre of what was happening to experience the heroism of the doomed, the futility of the deaths of so many on both sides of the conflict and the tragedy that befell the people of North King Street. Our docudrama perfectly fits the zeitgeist of the present day, when dislocated soldiers are often fighting and dying in a place they should not and did not expect to be, unsure of who the enemy is, and occasionally taking revenge on the civilian population.



  • Monday 13th Oct 2014 -

    ""A Terrible Beauty," its title taken from a famous poem by W.B. Yeats and premiering at 8 p.m. Friday 26th September and 3 p.m. Sunday the 28th September at the Siskel Film Center, is a docudrama of extraordinary power. It is about bullets flying and bodies falling, but it will capture you on a deeply personal level."

  • Tuesday 10th Jun 2014 -

    "A Terrible Beauty 1916-2016 is an ongoing project which has grown out of the TG4 docudrama A Terrible Beauty/Áille an Uafáis which dealt with events during the 1916 Easter Rising from a fresh and unbiased perspective. It is a "Living History" project that will consist of a digital portal for the stories of the participants and living relative of those involved in the Rising in Dublin, including those who led the fight for Irish freedom, those who opposed it, and those - both the famous and unknown - who were caught up in its wake. It will chronicle and preserve vital individual stories as a resource for all."

  • Tuesday 22nd Apr 2014 -

    "YOU won't have seen a better film about the 1916 Rising this Easter, and won't see one any other Easter, than A Terrible Beauty. Pat Stacey"

  • Monday 9th Dec 2013

    "‘What a remarkable film, 'A Terrible Beauty'. The Irish language with sub-titles, the even-handed portrayal of both sides, the documentary style with the personal stories and the archive film footage and the close-up horror of death. It was gripping - without the 'Hollywood' style 'glamorising' of war.’ Ann Towey, Irish Diaspora Foundation."

  • Thursday 28th Nov 2013 -

    "A Terrible Beauty Directed by Keith Farrell A brilliantly shot, big budget, drama-documentary about the men and women of the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916 told from both sides."

  • Tuesday 2nd Jul 2013

    "A Terrible Beauty is a measured and very impressive docu-drama. The unobtrusive English narration is by Peter Coonan (Fran the Man from Love/Hate), but a particularly effective way of telling the story is to have the actors, in character, tell the tales of the people they portray: the testimonies are taken from a wide range of sources and give a voice to the vivid human drama. Indeed, the dramatic reconstructions in A terrible beauty set the bar high for the documentaries that are bound to follow over the next few years. "


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