Bob Geldof on WB Yeats: A Fanatic Heart
Written by Bob Geldof and historian and Yeats scholar Roy Foster, this landmark documentary traces how W.B. Yeats led the way in imagining a new, proud, strong Ireland into being after the Famine – and how, after centuries of colonial oppression, he gave the people of Ireland back a story they could believe in and fight for.
Geldof traces W.B. Yeats’ life, from his earliest family trips to Rosses’ Point in Sligo – which awakened a lifelong love of fairy tales and folklore – via international fame as the poet laureate of an emerging Ireland, to his Nobel Prize and role as Senator in the new Free State. Controversially, he contends that Yeats deserves a place ahead of the martyrs of 1916 – because, he argues, rather than sacrifice his life for Ireland, Yeats stayed alive to fight for a secular, just and truly inclusive Ireland.
A Fanatic Heart is a captivating tale of mythology, nation building, insurgency and disillusion – and how one man dreamed an entire country out of the ravages of famine and into a new dawn.
With performances of Yeats’ poems by Sting, Noel Gallagher, Edna O’Brien, Bono, Van Morrison, Olivia O’Leary, Liam Neeson, Stephen Fry, Dominic West, Richard E. Grant, Bill Nighy, Anne Enright, Colin Farrell, Ardal O’Hanlon, Shane MacGowan and more.