I Am Belfast

I Am Belfast

Mark Cousins (2015)

84min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
While it evokes memories of a British Transport short, director Mark Cousins still crafts a perceptive paean to his hometown that takes the form of a dialogue between him and actress Helena Bereen as the human embodiment of the 10,000-year-old city. Making painterly use of the natural and industrial environs and judiciously slipping in the odd archival clip, Cousins seeks to show how Belfast life has always been shaped by the salt and sweet contrasts that hardened into sectarian hatreds, which in turn flared into the Troubles. He also looks back on unifying events like the building of the RMS Titanic, and, while he points out the fault-lines of the Catholic/Protestant divide, he also locates signs of healing and ponders (in a rather cumbersome piece of street theatre) how things might change after the funeral of the last bigot. The exchanges between Cousins and Bereen occasionally drift into cod-poetic pomposity, but locals like cussing neighbours Rosie McKee and Maud Bell return the affectionate, but never bathetic focus to the place and its people.

Cast & Crew

Belfast Helena Bereen
Director Mark Cousins

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: BFI DistributionGuidance: Swearing.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 8 Apr 2016