The Family was one of four documentary films - ˜The Other Ways" - commissioned in 1978 from Bob Quinn for RTE's brand new 2nd channel . The theme was to be alternative life styles and the commission suggested the new channel was going to be new, daring and different from the jaded RTE 1.
Having completed two of the films (˜An Bealach Eile" and ˜Listen") Quinn made ˜The Family", a study of the Atlantis community in Donegal, known as the "Screamers" because of their application of Wilhelm Reich therapy techniques. Jenny James presented her family in the film.
The programme controller of RTE 2 decided the film was too disturbing to show to Irish audiences. Quinn commented to the Controller: 'If you start off timid, you'll end up timid". The entire series was abandoned.
14 years later Lelia Doolan liberated the film from the archive and presented it for the first time on TV.
The Family. 28 mins. Colour.
Footnote for film historians: As consolation for the film not being shown, Quinn was given ownership of the negative, held by Colour Film Services in London. The material would have made an intriguing full length documentary feature. Sadly that decision was not conveyed to the laboratory, no duplicate negative was made and and the original negative was cut to pieces.
Fáilte go Conamara
The newly restored Atlantean Quartet of films
are now available on two DVDs in pristine 16:9 format.