The new London Irish Film Club series in association with Irish Film Institute launched on April 26th and runs fortnightly throughout the Spring/Summer season. The fourth in the series is Rocky Road to Dublin directed by Peter Lennon, and The Making of Rocky Road to Dublin, directed by Paul Duane.
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.
The Irish Film Institute is Ireland’s national cultural institution for film. It provides audiences throughout Ireland with access to the finest independent, Irish and international cinema; it preserves and promotes Ireland’s moving image heritage through the IFI Irish Film Archive, and provides opportunities for audiences of all ages and backgrounds to learn and critically engage with film.
The London Irish Centre charity is the heart of the Irish community in London. The charity provides care, culture and community to the Irish across London, working from the iconic London Irish Centre in Camden Town.
Established in 1954 to cater for the needs of young Irish emigrants, the Centre has always been a place of welcome and assistance – a home from home. The charity runs a diverse mix of high-quality services, projects and events to support the changing needs and interests of the Irish in London.