Greetings from Blarney Castle
1993, 20:45 minutes, colour
Greetings from Blarney Castle uses audio recordings of conversations between my Irish Canadian grandmother and a woman she met while a tourist in Ireland in 1976. As my grandmother obsessively recorded these encounters they exchanged opinions and anecdotes about subjects involving the home, family, gender-based power struggles, sexuality and child rearing. Much of the visual material in this video tape plays between the artifacts of my grandmother's trip and camcorder documentation of my own recent trip across Ireland. Juxtaposing imagery from the same journey made twice, separated by twenty years and two generations, this tape explores the role of family history in my own life and in the culture and tourism industry of Ireland.
Greetings from Blarney Castle is a playful tape which uses interviews, computer graphics, music and text to build around the theme of family history and its passage through story-telling. It contrasts the personal stories of my grandmother and her companion with slogans of the Irish tourism industry, which capitalizes on the interest of North Americans in "finding their roots".
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