Matilda Tone
Love & revolution in a Brooklyn graveyard ... how was it for you, Mrs Tone? ... a collision of 18th & 21st century body politics.
16mm   25 minutes   colour   2005   music by Susan McKeown & Eamon O'Leary

Martha Witherington was born in Dublin in 1775. She eloped with future revolutionary Theobald Wolfe-Tone (who re-named her Matilda) at 16, lost him to a British prison at 23, spent 20 years fending for herself & their one remaining son in post-revolutionary Paris & ended her days at the head of a 3-generation household in Washington DC, outliving two husbands & three children. She was, to judge from her correspondance, a pragmatic revolutionary.

The restoration of her tombstone in 1998 provoked an excavation of her own long-buried story. First-hand accounts (from Matilda's pen & those of her contemporaries) combine with a sound-track of political songs from the 1700s to create a portrait of the hitherto invisible Mrs. Tone. The film ends with the official unveiling of her tombstone by then Irish president Mary Robinson, followed by a lively wake held in her honour in Mona's Bar in New York's Lower East Side.

CAST Matilda Wolfe-Tone Aideen O'Kelly
  Theobald Wolfe-Tone Paul Meade
  William Wolfe-Tone Oisin Clancy
  Lucien Bonaparte Patrice Lerochereuil
  Bruix, Ministre de la Marine Pierre Louaver
  Wakers Gregory Baird
Zoe Greenberg
Eileen Keohane
Noirin McCarthy
Erica Peek
Julius Ziz
Lee Ellicson
Aengus Hennessy
Andy Lampert
Marcel Meijer
Jeff Perkins
Galina Godovannaya
Alice-Mary Higgins
Jonas Mekas
Donal O'Cealleachoir
Jurga Stakenaite
  Radio voices Zoe Greenberg John Hedigan Muriel Peraro
    Alan Toner    
  Additional voice-over Clare Power Alice Mary Higgins  
  Card player Esther Peek
CREW Writer / Director Moira Tierney
  Executive Producer Masha Godovannaya
  Sound Recordist Guillermo Escalona
  Sound Mixer Matt Thompson
  Casting Lilia Pasciewitz
  Camera (Bar Scene) Shuji Momose
  Camera Assistants (Bar Scene) Lili Chin Matt Thompson  
  Production Assistant Jurga Stakenaite
SONGS Vocals Susan McKeown
  Guitar Eamon O'Leary
FUNDED BY Anne Doyle    
  Roinn An Taoisigh
  The Irish Fulbright Commission
Matilda's tombstone was restored by Sean Webster at the behest of the New York Irish History Round Table, to commemorate the bicentennial of the 1798 Irish Rebellion
Wake scene filmed at Mona's Bar on Avenue B in Manhattan, courtesy of Richie Curton 
SCREENINGS 2006 International Film Festival, Rotterdam
Evolution 2006 (Leeds International Film Festival)
2005 Anthology Film Archives, New York
Dunba Collective (Dunbo Arts Festival)