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The Last Storyteller? / AN SCÉALAÍ DEIREANACH?

Director: Desmond Bell
Executive Producers: Ray McCarthy for RTE, Micheai O'Meallaigh for TG4 and Rod Stoneman for bord scannán na Éireann/Irish Film Broad
Producers: Margo Harkin of Besom Productions Ltd. and Paul Kenny
Co-Production: Besom Productions Ltd. & Asylum Pictures
Broadcasters: Broadcast on 17 March 2002 Irish Version on TG4 and on 31 March 2002 English Version on RTE


The film was selected for the Venice Film Festival 2002. A film about folklore based on the work of the Irish Folklore collector Seán ÓhEochaidh.


The Last Storyteller is an original idea by Director Des Bell based on the work of Seán ÓhEochaidh who died in January 2002. Seán began work with the Irish Folk Lore Commission in 1935 and for the next forty years he travelled the highways and byways of his native Donegal recording the folklore and fairy tales of last generation of traditional storytellers. The film features interviews with Seán in the last years of his life and reconstructs his life as a young man travelling on his bike with his famous ediphone recording machine.

Several of the stories themselves are recounted through the innovative use of archive footage providing rich and evocative images of the people and the landscape from times past that inspired the original tales. There are five stories in all, each one dealing in some way with ordinary mortals and their interaction with the `other world’, either good or bad. In the final tale, the traditional story is juxtaposed with modern day images to carry the relevance of these tales into our lives today. .

`The Last Storyteller?’ vividly portrays a disappearing world and reflects on what is lost in our culture with the end of traditional storytelling but it also celebrates the narrative capacity of cinema itself. Director Desmond Bell had already drawn upon Seán’s vast experience of folklore in the making of his award winning film The Hard Road to Klondike.

Domestic viewing copies available on DVD for £17 (inclusive of VAT) plus postage and packing. For Institutional rates and/or other teaching purposes, please contact Margo at