Galway City of Film concludes its 100 Years of Irish Cinema programme with a look at Contemporary Irish Documentary as Social Commentary. Paula Kehoe, Galway-based Australian filmmaker, has chosen three seminal Irish documentaries that will screen at An Taibhdhearc, Galway city at 12pm on Saturday afternoon, December 3rd. The films and discussion are free and will operate on a first come, first served basis so please get there early!
The theme of this screening centres around ‘Documentary as Social Commentary’ and ‘Why Documentary Matters’ and includes work from three prolific filmmakers who through their documentaries witness and participate in the national conversation about identity, social issues, art, culture, colonisation and revolution. These filmmakers are three of Ireland’s best and most influential documentary directors and all three will attend the screenings and take part in a discussion afterwards about their work.
The screening starts at 12pm with ‘Living in a Coded Land’ (80 mins) by Pat Collins, a poetic exploration of what Ireland was, is or might be, – over time, at different times, beneath all its layers. The film revolves around the notion of a sense of place and stories associated with place, reflecting the traces of the past that exist in the present and probing themes such as the impact of colonialism, emigration, famine, land, housing and the place of art in society. Making extensive use of archive from RTÉ and the IFI, the film beautifully manages to explore the more elusive layers of meaning that make up the country of Ireland.
Following this at 2.15pm will be ‘The Road to God Knows Where’ (52 mins) by Alan Gilsenan. This documentary is an edgy, iconoclastic, and at the time controversial state-of-the-nation snapshot of Ireland in 1988. This is a time of pre-Celtic Tiger Ireland, a transformational decade, a time of mass unemployment and emigration. The film captures the shockwaves in Ireland at the time, and the huge changes that the country underwent, and brilliantly uses stark visual imagery and arresting music track featuring U2, Aslan and the Pogues. The film reflects the idea that Ireland was on the move, on a journey, literally and figuratively, to unknown destinations.
At 3.20pm Broken Song (66 mins) by Claire Dix will screen, a contemporary and observational documentary about a group of young male rappers who rely on poetry to survive. For these young men self-expression in the form of poetry, rap and song has become a spiritual experience. Their aim is simply to articulate the chaos that surrounds them, and to fight it with their words and voices alone. Along the way it has become their identity, their religion and, as they claim themselves, they are its high priests.
Following the screenings from 4.20pm to 5.30pm, the featured Directors will be in conversation with filmmaker Paula Kehoe.
Tickets: Free and operated on a first come first served basis.
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