Filtering by Tag: Astronauts Vikings and Ghosts

Montreal 17th March

Added on by Robert Haines.

Astronauts, Vikings and Ghosts can be seen in Montreal at the International Festival of Films on Art (Festival International Du Film Sur L'Art) on Mar 17th @ 1pm, Beverly Webster Rolph Room, Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art.


Film Review

Added on by Robert Haines.

The Film Festival Guild Review of Films at Newport International Film Festival

"A touching documentary about a photographer who revisits his past, by visiting the town and the people he photographed in the 1960's. From the coal town of Wales, Merthyr Tydfil, this beautifully shot documentary reminds those who watch it how beautiful life is and how much we should cherish every day. The photographs are stunning and this is a truly accomplished and powerful piece of work"


Added on by Robert Haines.

I just heard the very sad news that Mansel Davies has passed away on November 9th aged 64. I photographed him in 1972 with his aunt Maggie Perrin and her dog outside his home in Heolgerrig.

 He was an amazing character. Born in Winchfawr he was unable to speak until he was 6. His mother died when he was twelve. He used to collect coal from the mountainside for his home. His life was dogged with health problems and he survived several major brain operations. He was a fighter and against all odds he worked his way up to management level in a local supermarket. In 2009 I interviewed him for my documentary Astronauts, Vikings and Ghosts. He spoke well, so well that he became one of the main characters in the film. Ignoring all life had thrown at him he was very contented and at peace with the world. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. We will never see the likes of him again.

The film of the book

Added on by Robert Haines.

  "In 1971 while a 19-year-old film student I photographed the remarkable characters of Merthyr Tydfil in the South Wales valleys. I then put the photographs in a box and put them away under the stairs. Nearly forty years later I found the box. Exhibitions and a book followed. The more I looked at the images the more I wanted to know what had become of these people. I then embarked on a personal journey and returned to my hometown of Merthyr to film the people and places. Their stories turned out to be more extraordinary than I could ever have imagined. Some talked of their lost childhood dreams but there were violent deaths, murders, MI5 involvement and one had a novel written about his short dramatic life."

The film has now been edited and is in post production.