A Fanatic Heart: Bob Geldof On W. B. Yeats
“Geldof speaks with such intelligence that he brings out the strength of the great poet’s verbal music. This was the perfect tribute.” – Clive James, The Guardian
“One of the best literary docs I’ve seen.” – James Walton, The Spectator
Musician and advocate Bob Geldof examines the life and work of one of the 20th century’s greatest poets, William Butler Yeats. A Fanatic Heart is the extraordinary story of revolution, nation-birth, mythology and disillusion and how one poetic genius dreamed and sang an entire country into being from the ravages of poverty and famine and into the raw dawn of a modern state.
With over 30 unique performances of W. B. Yeats’ epic poetry by leading Irish and British cultural figures, Geldof argues why Yeats and his circle built the cultural scaffolding of a modern, pluralist Ireland but was pushed aside by the narrow-minded Catholic elite of the new Free State – the “Banana Republic” that Geldof in turn rebelled against half a century later.
Written by Geldof and biographer Roy Foster, this incisive and moving documentary features readings by celebrity contributors Sting, Noel Gallagher, Elvis Costello, Edna O’Brien, Bono, Van Morrison, Shane MacGowan, Olivia O’Leary, Liam Neeson, Stephen Fry, Dominic West, Richard E. Grant, Bill Nighy, Anne Enright, Colin Farrell, Ardal O’Hanlon and many others.
• Over two hours of additional commentaries and readings by dozens of celebrities
• Two new songs based on Yeats’ poems by:
o Bono (Mad as the Mist and Snow) and
o Elvis Costello (A Drunken Man’s Praise of Sobriety)
• Yeats Remembered soundtrack by Pete Briquette [30 mins]
• 73 poetry readings and 23 discussion pieces