FILM REVIEW | Fairytale Of Kathmandu: Highly Emotive and Compelling

★★★★★ | Fairytale Of Kathmandu

Not every Fairy Tale has a happy ending especially this one desperately sad but true one from 2007.

Director Neass Ni Chianain first encountered legendary Irish Poet Cathal Ó Searcaigh as a student in awe of him. Years later, the two are now friends and the poet invites her to accompany him on his annual three-month visit to Nepal, which he considers his spiritual home. Ó Searcaigh, a middle-aged openly gay man, was keen to share his life in the capital city of Kathmandu, and show all his charitable work supporting a whole legion of young Nepalese boys.

The documentary starts out simply as a tribute to this seemingly altruistic generous man that villagers treat as some sort of a deity, turns into a totally different story.

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Admiration turns to dismay and anger, fuelled by Ó Searcaigh’s denials when confronted with the discoveries, and ultimately it is he that claims betrayal and not the boys or the filmmaker.

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Sensitively shot, this superb documentary with its totally unexpected curve is highly emotional, and even blood-curdling at times. Whatever one’s opinion of Ó Searcaigh is, his story is totally compelling, completely riveting and makes fascinating viewing that shouldn’t be missed. Ultimately, we are reminded of what we’ve always known: not every fairytale has a happily-ever –after ending.

About the author: Roger Walker-Dack
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