A New Film on Our Lady of Knock Asks for Your Help

A New Film on Our Lady of Knock Asks for Your Help August 21, 2015

Caitlyn Argue writes

I write from Underground Films in Dublin, where we are currently producing a feature documentary on the miracle town of Knock, Ireland, also a Marian Shrine. I believe this is a film that will resonate with your readers, and I am writing in hopes you can assist us in spreading the word with them via your blog.

This film is about miracles and having hope and faith. We have also recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to help finance the film. Our campaign is an ambitious one – hoping to raise €70,000 with just under 30 days left – but we have faith that with your support, we can achieve it!

If you can assist us by sharing the news of the film and the campaign with your readers on your blog throughout our campaign – that would be a tremendous help.

We believe this is an important story to share with the world, and the time to tell it is now. Filming for Knock the Film began bright and early on the morning of Sunday 9 August at 7:30am, with the arrival of 178 American visitors direct from JFK New York. With your help, we will be shooting up to and including Easter 2016.

At the core of this documentary is an exploration of religion in Ireland. Does it have a place anymore? In an Ireland where marriage equality was passed overwhelmingly and where there are movements beginning to repeal the eighth amendment and end church patronage within education, who are the 1.6 million visitors who travel to Knock every year? What draws them to this place?

We meet romantics searching for the perfect partner at the Knock Marriage Bureau, addicts seeking salvation, Travellers walking barefoot for days, curious Muslims from Ballyhaunis, and the sick looking for a miracle cure. As we follow the modernisation of Knock, we explore different attitudes to faith, belief, and the basic human need for hope. What meaning does a place like Knock hold in twenty-first century Ireland? Is this tiny town a throwback to times gone by, a relic of an older Ireland, or does it offer a beacon of hope?

All funds raised from this campaign will be put towards telling the overseas portion of our story. We are committed to exploring this international angle, and the filmmakers have already self-funded initial filming in New York City last March, and an Italian shoot in July. We know that €70,000 sounds like a lot of money, because, quite simply, it is. Filming observationally requires spending time in these places, getting to know people, searching out the most compelling stories, gaining trust. Though we work as a tight unit; flights, travel, accommodation, research, shoot and edit costs all add up. As well as this, donations are subject to VAT – so we’ve had to factor all taxes into our fundraising goal.

Please visit our crowdfunding page on Indiegogo. Read more on our official film page, where you can also view footage and get to know some of the people who populate this iconic place. Become a Friend of the Film on Facebook to stay up to date with all our latest news, and follow us on Twitter with the #KnockFilm hashtag.

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  • Joseph

    I’m dubious with projects like this, especially in Ireland. RTE is the mouthpiece for the current government, which is the mouthpiece for EU and American interests. They’ve done a bang-up job reminding the Irish why they shouldn’t be Catholic anymore, so the fact that they are helping to fund this doesn’t bode well. RTE, as acting mouthpiece for the government, was instrumental in convincing the public with constant, daily streams of ‘Vote YES’ propaganda pieces on the marriage referendum. Anytime Mass attendance starts to rise or another government push to remove the Church from Irish life is on the table, you can count on RTE to run a piece to rehash the priestly abuse scandal, the Magdalene Laundries, or the Tuam orphanage scandal (that was known about in the 70s, mind you) to convince the pop culture sheep to stay far away from the Church. Usually, any *pious* pieces by RTE end with the priest being interviewed calling for women priests or gay marriage or something else they shouldn’t be supporting to sow the seeds of confusion.
    .
    There is no doubt that what influence Catholic teaching has on education (by the way, despite what the propaganda implies, Catholic instruction is *optional* and not *mandatory* at the moment; several kids in my childrens’ classes do not attend any religious instruction courses, so don’t believe anyone who says Catholic teaching is forced on children here) will be decoupled in the next year or two, especially after the marriage referendum… leaving Catholic parents with fewer and more costly choices (like the US) for educating their children.
    .
    To answer the question, “Does [religion] have a place in Ireland anymore?”, the answer is, “Yes, it does. As long as it’s not Catholic”.