January 25, 2023

School of Life teacher and student in class webpage banner

Solas Nua's CIFF@Home with NYU DC Dialogues presented, School Life. A pre-recorded Q&A with directors Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane aired on January 25. The discussion was moderated by Maedhbh Mc Cullagh, Director of the Capital Irish Film Festival.

Registration gave access to an on-demand film link to view ahead of the live Q&A discussion.

John and Amanda teach Latin, English and Guitar at a fantastical stately-home-turned-school. Nearly fifty year careers are drawing to a close for the teachers who have become legends with the mantra: reading! rithmetic! rock n roll! .... but for pupil and teacher alike, leaving is the hardest lesson to learn.

This hilariously funny and yet poignant observational documentary following two 'prep school' teachers, John and Amanda Leyden, on the brink of retirement, with a collective 90 years of chalk, is pure magic. Housed in a Hogwarts-like 18th century estate, school life at Headfort, the last remaining boarding school in Ireland for primary age kids, embraces tradition and modernity. It appears that for John, the differences between Latin, Mathematics and Rock ‘n’ Roll are nominal, while for his wife Amanda, the key to connecting with children is the book, and she uses all means to snare the young minds. The film reflects a unique kind of fondness that existed between tutor and ward in years gone by, a genuine love of all that makes childhood so precious.  The film carries a warm message for parents and kids alike: schooldays can be cool days.

Hand-picked by Solas Nua's Capital Irish Film Festival, CIFF@Home with NYU DC Dialogues is a bi-monthly, curated series of Irish film.

Selected for you to watch from the comfort of your own home, registration gave access to an on-demand film link to view any time until January 25, as well as a Q&A that was streamed via Zoom Webinar after you watched the film on your own schedule.


2016 | Documentary | Runtime: 99 minutes | English