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Rocky Road to Dublin

1h 10m Documentary, History, Irish Film 1968

In 1967, Paris-based journalist Peter Lennon returned home to find a country that was stagnating under the weight of its own history. His response was this film, his only one, a brash, polemical essay which contrasts the aspirations of the founders of the state with the ideological malaise afflicting the Ireland that had emerged. As Lennon comments “this film is an attempt to reconstruct, in images, the plight of a community which survived nearly 700 years of English occupation and then nearly sank under the weight of its own heroes and clergy”.

Inspired by the French New Wave, the film critiques Irish society through interviews with public and private figures and through the cinematography of New Wave’s Raoul Coutard who captures the action in pubs and on pitches, in schoolyards and graveyards, hospital wards and tennis club hops on his discreet 16mm camera.


Peter Lennon





Bonus Content

The Making of Rocky Road to Dublin


Made as companion piece for Rocky Road to Dublin,  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 later. Present-day interviews with Lennon and Raoul Coutard trace how the film grew from an idea into a fully-fledged feature. Directed by Paul Duane and produced by Sé Merry Doyle (Loopline Films) the film unearths some remarkable, previously unseen footage of Lennon confronting Godard and Truffaut at Cannes in 1968 while workers and students demonstrate around the Sorbonne at the peak of their revolutionary fervour.

Following the production of The Making Of in 2004, Lennon insisted that Rocky Road would, from then on, always be screened alongside the contextualising short.

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