The maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic is without a doubt one of the most famous maritime disasters in history, and is an incident loaded with an overwhelming sense of tragedy and grief, even though the majority of us (I think that's fair to assume) weren't alive when it happened. In large part, this is due to the countless works of art that have been inspired by the event, none more famous and commercially successful than James Cameron's 1997 smash hit movie Titanic. But that film is not what this particular column is about. Instead, I'm putting the focus on a short film that goes by the title of Uisce Beatha, which I feel deserves praise and attention.

Uisce Beatha is an award-winning short film that centers around the supposed true story of a young Irish man, Tom, who leaves his father and his home behind to seek fame and fortune in America. On his way to catch the ship that will take him across the sea - the Titanic - he stops by a tavern, and it's the choices he makes that night that end up having a profound effect on his fate. The title of the short, Uisce Beatha, is Gaelic for "whiskey" or "water of life" and is proof alone of the sort of brilliance that runs through the short.

While not a lot of money went into putting the short together, the execution of its story shows incredible talent from the people involved. The acting is very good, which makes the short an absolute pleasure to watch, and the cinematography is also very pleasing. Uisce Beatha is a perfect example of how talent can go a long way even when you have limited resources. That's not me knocking big-budget action blockbusters, because Lord knows I love me an explosion-filled Arnold Schwarzenegger movie or a larger-than-life Marvel superhero flick, but it's true that a compelling story is what makes even big-budget blockbusters work. I mean, we wouldn't care about those movies if the special effects weren't bringing to life characters and stories we care about. It just happens that while a character like Spider-Man needs some CGI to work on screen, Tom in Uisce Beatha doesn't.

The short hints at what happened to the Titanic but is never explicit about it - the tragedy working more as a backdrop rather than as a focal point. Despite this, a good chunk of why the short is as touching and as potent as it is is because of the context. If you had no knowledge of the Titanic, the short would still work and I'm sure you could still get something out of the father-son relationship, but you really need the context of the real-life tragedy of the Titanic to truly unlock all that the short is saying.

A film like Titanic, or a short like Uisce Beatha, has the power to take an event that most of us are far removed from and make it relevant again. When we relate to characters in these films - empathizing with them and being invested in their fates - it can help us understand a historical event that was far before our time. Because one thing that doesn't change over time is the human experience (or emotions).

At their worst, films based on true events can skew our perception of the real-life event in ways that can sometimes be disrespectful towards those whose story is being told, or alternatively make us even more detached from the event. But at their best, films such as Uisce Beatha offer us a chance to celebrate our collective sense of humanity.