One of our most anticipated films in the upcoming Jameson Founded in 2003, the Dublin International Film Festival sets the agenda of the year with its programme of outstanding Irish and international film. is Tadhg O’Sullivan’s documentary The Great Wall, which will have its world premiere at JDIFF on March 23rd.
Funded by the Arts Council under the highly successful Reel Art scheme for creative documentary, the film is an adaptation of a short story by Franz Kafka and looks at the enclosure and protection of Europe by a complex and growing system of walls, fences and systems of exclusion.
Mysterious and visually dazzling, the film journeys across a myriad of modern landscapes across Europe, pausing to spend time with those whose lives are defined by these walls – detainees within European migrant camps.
The film was shot in eleven countries over a year, and takes the viewer on a remarkable journey beginning at Europe’s militarised edge – Melilla, a Spanish enclave in North Africa where Europe’s only land border with Africa is marked by a three metre, triple layer barbed fence – to the City of London and Brussels, seats of financial and political power and exclusion – and a dazzling array of locations in between.
A timely exploration of ‘Fortress Europe’ and the broader systems of power that feed into it, the film has a timeless feel, avoiding the details of current affairs to paint a broad and captivating cinematic portrait of Europe, guided by an unseen narrator whose story throws up as many questions as answers.
The Great Wall is Tadhg O’Sullivan’s second feature documentary, with his debut (co-directed with Feargal Ward), Yximalloo, also screening at JDIFF, on March 28th.
Tadhg is one of the most exciting talents emerging in Irish documentary. The award-winning Yximalloo has screened internationally at festivals, and his collaborative work has seen him work with some of Ireland’s foremost film-makers, including editing the films of Pat Collins including Silence, Living in a Coded Land, and What We Leave in Our Wake.