“Society often forgives the criminal; it never forgives the dreamer,” Wilde once remarked. One hundred and fifty years after his birth, Wilde, dreamer or no, is not only forgiven but lionized. To mark the anniversary, Irish director Bill Hughes has assembled an array of stars for a film project in association with Art for Amnesty and Amnesty International.
The program, broadcast on RTÉ on Oct 16, and shown again on PBS on World Aid’s Day, Dec 1, 2004, features 150 of Wilde’s best lines, spoken by 150 international artists, in a specially commissioned adapted screenplay by Frank McGuinness.
Shot in New York, Los Angeles, London and Dublin, the program involves many of Wilde’s fans, including Bono, Liam Neeson, Al Pacino, Susan Sarandon and Martin Sheen.
“Oscar Wilde was in prison for his sexuality,” said Hughes, explaining that the proceeds from the program will go to Amnesty International, “Because they support human rights and gay rights.” ♦