The Drummer and the Keeper

Ireland 2017. Dir: Nick Kelly. 92 min. DCP

Writer-director Nick Kelly, frontman for ’90s Irish band The Fat Lady Sings, brings his rock ‘n’ roll know-how to bear on this poignant tale of friendship and mental health set against the Dublin music scene. Gabriel, a talented but self-destructive drummer for an about-to-break Dublin band, has just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder — the same disease that destroyed his mother. Medicated and enrolled in a mixed-ability soccer league, Gabriel meets Christopher, a 17-year-old with Asperger’s. A reluctant bond is forged between them, one that opens horizons for both. Kelly, whose own son is on the spectrum, colours the film with warmth, affection, and organic, lived-through humour. Winner of Best Irish First Feature at the Galway Film Fleadh. “Heralds the arrival of a very impressive new talent” (Brian Ó Tiomáin, Film Ireland).