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Rocky Road to Dublin

Ireland 1968. Dir: Peter Lennon. 70 min. Digibeta

Rocky Road to Dublin is a 1968 documentary film by Irish-born journalist Peter Lennon and French cinematographer Raoul Coutard (long-time collaborator of Jean-Luc Godard), 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, this film, selected by the Cannes Festival to represent Ireland in 1968 and immediately shown across Europe and North America, was shunned in Ireland. Apart from one brief run in 1968 at the Dublin International Film Theatre 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” (Sunniva O’Flynn, Irish Film Institute).

followed by

The Making of Rocky Road to Dublin
Ireland 2004. Dir: Paul Duane. 30 min. Digibeta

Made during Rocky Road to Dublin’s revival in the 2000s, this 30-minute film recounts the fascinating story behind Peter Lennon’s iconoclastic 1967 documentary, including its de facto banning in Ireland, its role in the 1968 Paris riots, and its popular resurgence decades after it was made. Featuring interviews with Lennon and cameraman Raoul Coutard.