Robert Flaherty’s lost Irish Gaelic film found at Harvard














One thing that is true of all early cinema, silent cinema, and early talkies: without preservation and conservation, the films eventually disintegrate. That's if we even know where they are to begin with.

But every now and then a treasure thought long lost is found again.

I've written here and here about films of Alice Guy's that were lost and then found. Recently another rare film was found in the Harvard Film Archive, as reported on the archive's blog


Documentary pioneer Robert Flaherty directed the first film made in the Irish language, Oidhche Sheanchais (“A Night of Storytelling”) in 1935 during the production of his now classic film Man of Aran.

Cited in nearly every history of Irish cinema, this short (11 minute) film has been missing, believed lost, since a fire destroyed the only known copies in 1943. A nitrate print of the film, purchased in 1935 by Harvard’s Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures, was rediscovered by Houghton Library curators during a cataloging update in 2013.

You can read the entire article and see more images here.