DOUBLE BILL PROGRAMME
- Town of Strangers
- Run tim 80 mins
- Portland Lookalike Agency
- Run time 33mins
I’ve never been to bloody Ireland” recounts new age hippy Ralf from England, “I said to my girlfriend ‘I’ll be back in three weeks.’ That was 17 years ago. Do you think she’s still waiting for me? She must have boiled the kettle a thousand times.
They say there are only two stories worth telling: a person goes on a journey; and a stranger comes to town.
Wonderful…Irish film-maker Treas O’Brien has created a valuable and empathic documentary essay project about history, memory and community. …This film is an invigorating, refreshing experience.
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Town of Strangers, is a documentary of the imagination’ going deep into the experience of dreaming, migration and home.
Cinematographer Treasa O’Brien asks people in the town of Gort, one of the most diverse towns in Ireland, what home means to them and how they came to be in this unlikely place.
People who have come from elsewhere – Syrian refugees, Traveller teenagers, Brazilian meat factory workers, hippies from England, or people from just down the road – are interviewed in neutral spaces and in their houses, making coffee, tending to their gardens, cooking, doing their makeup.
‘Home’ in this sense consists of a series of actions as much as it does of a physical space. All the while those filmed reveal intimate stories of their families, loves and journeys. They describe people they miss, things they’ve left behind, their dreams.
“I came from under the truck” says Hamid “I got off in Dublin and I asked someone “where am I?” and they showed me to the refugee place … I am crying, crying, crying, sometimes I think it’s better if I kill myself.”
“I was only 15 when I realised I was gay. I’d already had my daughter Mary by then” says Rosa, who came to Ireland for a year to save money to open her own pizzeria in Brasil, and has been here ten years.”
“What I miss about Syria” says Elham, recently arrived through a refugee resettlement programme, “is when I’m sleeping in the morning my mum used to wake me up, make me coffee and it was our time. I miss these moments they never leave my head.”
These tales were inspired by an open invitation from filmmaker O’Brien to reveal a dream, a lie, a memory or a piece of gossip. As the volunteers settle into the audition armchair, a blend of travellers, migrant workers, hippies, blow-ins and newly arrived refugees, we are ushered into their private worlds, sharing their desires and dreams.
Film cert 12A Total film run time 80 minutes
Following ‘Town of Strangers’ will be a screening of ‘Portland Lookalike Agency’ commissioned by b-side in 2018 produced by Joe Borez and James Laming and starring Portland residents as you have never seen them before – more info HERE.
This event is part of our #LoveYourCommunity programme in partnership with Portland Global Friendship Group.