Ahead of its Gala Premiere at the Queen’s Film Theatre in Belfast on Wednesday the 11th of April 2018, Fine Point Films has released the trailer for Brendan J. Byrne’s latest documentary, Hear My Voice.
Hear My Voice is a cinematic tribute to those who suffered loss as a result of the Northern Irish conflict (1968-1998). Timed to mark the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday agreement that brought violence to an end, the film is based on artist Colin Davidson’s elegiac exhibition of paintings, Silent Testimony.
When Davidson began working on his signature, large-scale portraits, he became increasingly preoccupied, not with the celebrity of his sitters, but more with their status as human beings; what he describes as their ‘common humanity’.
Each of the portrait sitters is linked by profound loss, with their own unique story to tell. Their ‘common humanity’ is captured in the haunted but understated expression each of them shares. The sheer scale and detail of the portraits allows for close examination of the lines, brush strokes and layers of paint that make up the subjects’ faces, their eyes and expressions saying so much more than any TV interview could convey; horror and dignity etched in equal measure.
The film cuts between elegant tracks of each of the paintings, both floating into and retreating from the artworks. Audiences can see the curved lines between the brush strokes, craters between the paint where our audience can contemplate the tragic nuances behind the unfolding stories.
Hear My Voice breathes cinematic life into the stories of the people featured in the Silent Testimony paintings and is centred around a special hanging of the exhibition in a former ironworks building in Belfast City Centre, Riddel Warehouse.
Complemented by an original classical score by composer Brian Byrne, the beautiful cinematography of Richard Kendrick and the skilful editing of Greg Darby, Hear My Voice becomes a poetic testament to the resilience of Northern Ireland’s forgotten victims and a cri de coeur for an Ireland free of armed conflict.
Director Brendan J. Byrne has been telling stories about Northern Ireland for almost 30 years, with his most recent film, 66 Days, focusing on IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands. He works closely with producer Trevor Birney at Fine Point Films, with Byrne, Birney, and Andrew Tully producing Hear My Voice.
The film’s premiere next week will feature an introduction by US Senator George Mitchell, who was instrumental in the Good Friday agreement.