THE ROCKY ROAD TO DUBLIN
Sunday, January 21
Directed by Peter Lennon
(1968) Irish-born Lennon returns home from Paris, with New Wave icon Raoul Coutard in tow, to capture the plight of a nation that “survived 700 years of English occupation, and then nearly sank under the weight of its own heroes and clergy.” Trinity students debate censorship, schoolboys recite their catechism, Father Cleary, Ireland’s “singing priest” (later discovered to have had a lifelong affair with his housekeeper) cracks jokes with gravediggers, while a housewife questions her confessor’s prohibition on coitus interruptus. A mix of verité, Lennon’s commentary, and interviews with poets, priests, journalists, and John Huston, all to the music of The Dubliners. While not banned (no sex), it was effectively buried in its home country– its single lunchtime screening at the Cork festival scheduled at the same time as a free Guinness and oyster lunch 20 miles away–but found more success among French critics and the students of the May youth revolt (it was the final film screened at the ’68 Cannes festival before Godard and co. stormed the stage to shut it down). Digital. Approx. 69 min.
“An energetic, punchy, daring film, not least in its challenge to the cronyist political establishment which infuriated the younger generation in Ireland – then as now.”
– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian