Rúbaí: the Independent Thinker


Rúbaí is the name of a short independently produced film that is in the Irish Language, but is subtitled.

Rúbaí on IMDB

Over on IMDB it merits an 8.2 rating. Regardless of your specific beliefs or non-beliefs, you will enjoy it. The description there reads …

As her classmates prepare for their First Holy Communion, Rubai announces that she is an atheist and refuses to participate.


Rúbaí in the press

Of specific note there is that in was produced in 2013. It came to wider attention because the Irish Language TV channel T4 broadcast it in 2016. As you might anticipate, that in turn generated rather a lot of discussion. Here are a few extracts from a 2016 newspaper article might explain why …

…directed by Louise Ní Fhiannachta – which has won a rake of awards over the past two years.

…Ní Fhiannachta said that in the film, Rúbaí (who is played by Indreabhán native, Doireann Ní Fhoighil) “faces emotional blackmail, religious and philosophical debate and out-and-out intolerance in today’s supposedly diverse and modern Ireland”.

… Rúbaí recently won the jury prize for Best Short in its category at the Babel Film Festival in Sardinia, which is a festival for films in minority languages. Among its many other accolades are the Cleveland International Film Festival’s Programmer’s Choice Award and the Children’s Jury Award at this year’s Alé Kino in Poland.

… “I didn’t want to make a controversial film, I wanted to make a film about a little independent thinker, who would really send a message out and challenge our traditions in society,”

The attitudes and feelings this has stirred up are truly fascinating. So are the comments under the article, they are a bit of an eye-opener for some. There you will see both the Irish devout and Irish non-believers going head-to-head, and observe the religious getting well and truly spanked verbally and robustly.

The very fact that such a film now exists says a great deal about how Ireland has changed.

The film itself

A few others blogged about this and provided a link to the trailer. Rather than being a “me-too” posting, I’m taking it one step further and am presenting you with the entire film so that you can now see it all here. It really is short, only runs for 11 minutes, but is also very well made .

This comes via Screen Ireland


2 thoughts on “Rúbaí: the Independent Thinker”

  1. I’ve tried watching this video on my phone. I’ve tried watching it on my computer using Chrome, then using Mozilla. I’ve also tried watching it directly on their website. None seen to work.

    Do I need a special plugin or something?

    • Sadly there appears to be regional filtering in place and so as best as I can tell only people in Ireland and also the UK will be able to view it. If I can find another copy that is region free then I’ll let you know, and also update the above.


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