Feargal Ward’s critically acclaimed and award-winning new documentary The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid will have an Irish cinema release on October 19th.
Kildare farmer Thomas Reid lives a solitary life on the fringes of mainstream society, but beyond the walls of his 18th century farm sits an American factory – vital to the national economy but long an unsettling presence in Thomas’ life. Suspicious of intrusion, Thomas didn’t welcome the State agents who come to inquire about his house and lands. He vowed to resist.
Set against the backdrop of the Supreme Court legal action taken by Reid to challenge IDA Ireland’s attempt to compulsorily purchase his farm for the benefit of a multinational company, the film is a searching examination of the tension between a high-tech, low-tax globalised Ireland and the right of an individual citizen to continue living and working the lands of his ancestors.
Arising from Reid’s spectacular Supreme Court victory over IDA Ireland, the Irish State recently responded by passing new legislation in 2018 granting IDA Ireland stronger powers for compulsorily purchasing lands for multi-national corporations in the future.
Hailed as ‘the future of documentary’ in Variety by Barbara Visser, the artistic director of IDFA 2017, and “a masterpiece of psychological storytelling ” (Forge Media); the film also won the film critics’ Best Irish Film Award at the Founded in 2003, the Dublin International Film Festival sets the agenda of the year with its programme of outstanding Irish and international film. 2018. The film has been a hit on the international film festival circuit since its world premiere at IDFA Amsterdam (the world’s biggest documentary film festival) in November 2017, and has since screened at prestigious festivals including Madrid, Munich, Toronto, Istanbul, Sheffield and Moscow.
The film harnesses the immersive power of cinema, creating a multilayered psychological portrait of this fascinating individual and his experience; of the country that houses him, and the State that seeks to evict him.
The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid was directed by Feargal Ward, whose debut feature Yximalloo (co-directed with Tadhg O’Sullivan) won the Prix Premier at FID Marseille in 2014. The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid was co-written, edited and sound-designed by Tadhg O’Sullivan. The film was produced by Luke McManus for FSE Films in association with Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. and German broadcaster NDR (Germany).
The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid is released in cinemas nationwide on 19th October including the IFI; Omniplex, Rathmines; Vue Liffey Valley & Eye Cinema, Galway with more screens to be announced. Tickets for the Opening Night Screening + Panel Discussion at the IFI, at 18.30 on Friday, October 19th are available now here