DER Documentary

How the Myth Was Made

Kate and Peter Faherty with their friend Colin Tom (center), whose parents worked with Flaherty,
watch scenes from family life on a battery-powered 9" monitor. Photo by George C. Stoney, Fall 1976

launch preview watch a preview

by George C. Stoney, James Brown, Paul Barnes
color, 58 min, 1979

Non-profit, K-12, and Individual pricing also available
See pricing information and conditions

Stoney says he has dumb luck. His grandfather was the doctor on the island in Ireland where the legendary maker of documentary film, Robert Flaherty, shot his film Man of Aran. So Stoney's film, exploring the effects Flaherty's film had on the island and its people, is digging into his own roots as an individual while simultaneously studying the work of his intellectual mentor as a producer of nonfiction films.

Robert Flaherty's 1934 classic Man of Aran chronicled fishermen's struggle for existence on Ireland's bleak Aran Islands. Stoney revisits the islands and interviews surviving locals about their memories of the original film - and their reactions to making this one. It includes excerpts from the original documentary.

Stoney says, "How the Myth Was Made illustrates what I believe to be a common truth: the filmmaker always leaves his mark on the places and the people he films."

This DVD is part of the George C. Stoney Collection

Related Resources
"Must a Filmmaker Always Leave His Mark?" an essay by George C. Stoney
"Documentary: How The Myth Was Reconstructed" an essay by Brian Winston

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Los Angeles Irish Film Festival, USA, 2012

View more photos on

Related Films
The Village

Catalog of New Films DER new films catalog cover
Join Our Mailing List
Suport DER
Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts