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Biography

BRUCE, Nichola (director, screenwriter) (1953 -)

Nichola Bruce was born in Britain and has been associated mostly with documentary and digital filmmaking, much of it for British television. Her documentaries include The Human Face featuring Laurie Anderson for the BBC in 1991; The Dramatic Art of Steven Berkoff for Channel 4 in 1995; and The Monument with artist Racheal Whiteread for the BBC in 1996. Her first feature, I COULD READ THE SKY (1999) is based on the novel by Timothy O’Grady (with photographs by Steve Pike). Shot on digital equipment, the film is an impressionistic exploration of the lives of ageing immigrant Irish workers in Britain. I Could Read the Sky focuses on one such man, played by author Dermot Healy, who reminisces about his life on building sites and his early days on a small West of Ireland farm. His memories are interlaced with nature images – of clouds scudding across a sky or a mountainside in Ireland, and infused with a sense of loss. The title is taken from a scene in which he lists the abilities to which he can no longer claim, including being able to ‘read the sky’.

Contact: irishfilm@tcd.ie | Last updated: Nov 27 2006.