A Call to Arts: An Artistic Journey in Ireland 1935-1975
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A Call to Arts explores Helen Hooker and Ernie O’Malley’s lives and their contributions to the arts in a newly independent Ireland. The film examines the photography and sculpture of Helen Hooker, and her marriage with Irish soldier and author, Ernie O’Malley. It’s an artistic journey in Ireland that takes place from 1935-1975.
A Call to Arts is not only about Helen Hooker and Ernie O’Malley in Ireland, but also about their youngest son Cormac’s mission to discover their incredible legacy. The unlikely pair fell in love in New York and together they helped change the shape of the arts in Ireland in the 20th century.
A Call to Arts showcases insights from over 22 interviews in conversation with rich archival images and video, some never seen before, to describe a turbulent and inspired arts journey through a newly independent Ireland.
The film seeks to examine the intersection of modernism in arts and literature and Irish independence. Helen Hooker and Ernie O’Malley were a couple who, by all accounts, made it their work to see Ireland not for how it was, but for what it could become.
2021 | 56 minutes | SDH Subtitles
EXCERPT FROM FILM:
Ernie O'Malley was a medical student who was swept into the violence of Ireland's fight for independence from England in 1916. He emerged badly wounded after gun fighting, torture and a hunger strike, and went to America in 1928. Helen Hooker was a talented young tennis champion from a wealthy family in Connecticut. She had everything except the freedom to pursue a dream of a life in the arts. He escaped from Ireland's most famous jail. She escaped society's expectation of what her life could be. Each would offer the other a key to unlocking their potential. Drawn to one another by shared passion for the arts, they helped Ireland establish a bold new vision of itself that inspires to this day. In freeing themselves, they would answer a call to arts.