Old rebels might die, but they never fade away.

Fresh on the heels of the Galway Film Fleadh, Cork Film Fest, and an RTÉ broadcast, “REBEL ROSSA” is set to premiere at New York City's Craic Fest on Friday, March 3.

The feature documentary explores the life of renowned Irish revolutionary, Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa.

And that exploration has a family basis as the documentary was created by O’Donovan Rossa’s Irish-American great-grandsons, longtime documentary filmmaker, Williams Rossa Cole and his brother Rossa Williams Cole.  

Together, the Brooklyn duo takes the viewer on a journey to discover the life and legacy of their great-grandfather.  

Said a release accompanying the New York premiere: “One of the most controversial figures in Irish history, the staunch Fenian O'Donovan Rossa lived an arduous and impassioned life, from seeing his own father die during the Famine and his induction into the Irish Republican Brotherhood, to suffering six torturous years in English jails and exile to New York in 1871.

“There he founded the Brooklyn Dynamite School and became the face of a bombing campaign in England during the 1880s.

“Following his death in 1915, his body was returned to Ireland where his massive funeral on August 1st was thought to have been the spark for the Easter Rising 1916, and thereafter in 1922, the establishment of the Irish Republic.”

“REBEL ROSSA,” the release added, “takes us from deep Irish Republican circles in the North to O’Donovan Rossa’s roots in West Cork, along with multiple, competing centennial events hosted by the Irish government, Gerry Adams and other groups. Fans of The Pogues will be happy with James Fearnley’s original music along the way.”  

Others behind the production include Executive Producer and Irish actress/writer, Olivia Tracey, Producer Ciaran O’Connor of New Decade, and Sales and Marketing agent Derry O’Brien of Network Ireland Television.  

REBEL ROSSA will screen at the CINÉPOLIS CHELSEA (260 West 23rd Street) on Friday, March 3 at 7:30 pm.   

Tickets include a pre-screening reception plus a post-screening question and answer session with Rossa Williams Cole.

A two-minute trailer can be viewed at www.rebelrossa.com. More at www.thecraicfest. com.


This article originally featured in the Irish Echo. You can read more from them here.