The new London Irish Film Club series will launch on April 26th and run fortnightly throughout our Spring/ Summer season! The final in this series is Rocky Road to Dublin.

Rocky Road to Dublin is a 1968 documentary film by Irish-born journalist Peter Lennon examining the contemporary state of the Republic of Ireland, posing the question, “what do you do with your revolution once you’ve got it?” It argues that Ireland was dominated by cultural isolationism, Gaelic and clerical traditionalism at the time of its making.

 

Astonishingly, after being selected by the Cannes Festival to represent Ireland in 1968 and immediately shown across Europe and North America, the film was shunned in Ireland. Apart from one brief run in 1968, it was never accepted for commercial or television release in Ireland until the 2000s. This is the film that, in the late ‘60s, shattered Ireland’s complacent view of itself as a liberated country.

 

Made as companion piece for Rocky Road to Dublin during its revival in the 2000s, The Making of Rocky Road to Dublin describes the journey of Lennon’s iconoclastic documentary from its creation and initial life on the screen to its resurgence in popularity more than thirty years after production. Present-day interviews with Lennon and cinematographer Raoul Coutard trace how the film grew from an idea into a fully-fledged feature. The film’s turbulent distribution experience, including its de facto banning in Ireland and its role in Paris riots of 1968 are also recounted.

 

This screening is presented with the support of IFI International as part of Culture Ireland’s GB18 initiative, and Arts Council Ireland.

 

Rocky Road to Dublin, Peter Lennon, 70 mins, Ireland, 1968

The Making of Rocky Road to Dublin, Paul Duane, 30 mins, Ireland, 2004

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