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Hero image for Lament for Barney Flanagan

Lament for Barney Flanagan

Short Film (Full Length) – 1998

Album Lament for Barney Flanagan and Other Poems was released in 1973 — ten poems recited by late poet and playwright James K. Baxter, whose 1960s transformation into a barefoot counterculture prophet challenged middle New Zealand. Adapted from the title poem, this film was described by his wife, writer Jacquie Sturm, as "the best adaptation I have seen of Jim's work, in film or theatre". Featuring actor/writer Tim Balme (Braindead), it traces the final day — complete with angelic visitations — of an Irish Catholic hotel owner's life. The film features characters inspired by Kiwi pubs of yesteryear.

Barney Flanagan sprung like a frog, from a wet root in an Irish bog / May his soul escape from the tooth of the dog
– Tim Balme recites lines from James K Baxter's poem Lament For Barney Flanagan

Produced by

Torrent Films


Torrent Films


Produced with assistance from the Creative Film & Video Fund, a partnership between Creative New Zealand, the NZ Film Commission and NZ On Air

Made in association with the NZ Film Commission's Short Film Fund 


Closing credits song 'I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen' performed by actor John Yelash

Requiem in D minor (K.626), composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, performed by the Slovak Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra