Rebel Rossa | Chicago Reader

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88 minutes · 2016

Documentary
This spirited documentary follows Irish-American brothers Williams and Rossa Cole as they explore the legacy of their great-grandfather Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa during a 2015 trip to Dublin and West Cork to mark the centenary of his death. A key figure in Ireland's independence movement, Jeremiah was imprisoned and later exiled by the British for his anti-imperialist activism; from his new home base in New York City he became an early practitioner of modern terrorism and openly planned bombing campaigns against the UK. A hundred years later the Irish revere him as a patriot, and his great-grandsons are welcomed by everyone from rural villagers to Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams. A family memoir, travelogue, and history lesson rolled into one, the film benefits from the siblings' genial banter and the lucid narration of Williams, who also directed.

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