Rocky Road to Dublin

Rocky Road to Dublin 12A

May ’68: Film and the Revolution


Please note: This was screened in May 2018

Peter Lennon
Sean O'Faoláin, Conor Cruise O'Brien, John Huston
99 mins, 1968, Ireland

Virtually unseen and banned for many years in Ireland following its entry into the 1968 Cannes Film Festival, Peter Lennon’s controversial documentary about the state of the Irish republic in the late 1960s, argued lucidly and surreptitiously for the extinction of the country’s outmoded state of affairs.

Interviewing ordinary people, patriotic sportsmen and politicians, as well as priests and school children in order to glean a picture of his country, journalist and documentarian Peter Lennon let his interviewees unwittingly reveal the depths of their small-minded prejudice. In turn he painted a portrait of a country that was censorious and repressed, and produced a film of great controversy when after just one screening in Dublin it was immediately pulled and entered a prolonged period of absence from both Irish cinemas and television.

A brilliantly energetic, punchy and daring piece of documentary filmmaking (shot by Godard’s regular cinematographer Raoul Coutard), it challenged the cronyist political establishment which so infuriated the younger generation in 1960’s Ireland and shattered a country’s complacent view of itself as a liberated country.