September 25th 2023: The Irish Film Institute (IFI) is delighted to present a new season of Irish documentaries, Iconic Docs: Reflections of a Nation, available to rent nationwide on IFI@Home and worldwide on IFI International. Films presented in the collection are now available for pre-sale, streaming from Wednesday, September 27th.

This new season brings together a selection of Irish feature documentaries which capture an essence of the time in which they were made. Over 60 years of production, the films document key moments in the evolution of the nation. Many of these documentaries are available now for the first time to Irish and international audiences.

Commenting on presenting these documentaries, Head of IFI Irish Film Programming Sunniva O’Flynn said, ‘Iconic Docs is a fiercely important collection of work encapsulating not just changes in Irish society but also changes in how that society has been reflected by official documentarians and by filmmakers with more personal perspectives – from official standpoints and from purely personal perspectives. It will prove a rich resource for anyone interested in exploring the roots from which modern Ireland has grown.

George Morrison’s Mise Éire (1959), produced by Gael Linn, documents the late years of the nineteenth century through to the 1916 Rising, concluding with Sinn Féin’s electoral victory in 1918. Mise Éire is presented with Lorg na gCos, an examination of the political and national context of the film’s release, directed by Colm Bairéad (An Cailín Ciúin). Peter Lennon’s Rocky Road to Dublin (1967), filmed by Raoul Coutard, cinematographer of the French New Wave, is presented with The Making of the Rocky Road to Dublin, featuring the IFI’s own Sunniva O’Flynn.

Facing west with rural documentaries, The Pipe (2010), made by Risteard Ó Domhnaill, follows a community in Rossport, Co. Mayo shaken to its core by the proposed introduction of a high-pressure Shell gas pipeline, while The Silver Branch (2017), directed by Katrina Costello, follows the plight of the Burren Action Group in Co. Clare, through the lens of farmer/poet Patrick McCormack. When All Is Ruin Once Again (2018) looks into the lives of people who live on the borders of counties Galway and Clare in stunning black and white.

What We Leave In Our Wake, directed by Pat Collins, is a filmic essay exploring mythology, the Church, consumerism and socialism in Irish society. Looking North, Dónal Foreman’s The Image You Missed is a documentary essay weaving together a history of the Troubles with the story of a son’s search for his father.

In F-Rated docs, One Million Dubliners, directed by Aoife Kelleher, reveals the stories of Glasnevin Cemetery, the final resting place for 1.5 million people, in turn revealing Dublin tales of ritual, loss, and the business of death. The 34th: The Story of Marriage Equality (2017), co-directed by Linda Collins and Vanessa Gildea, shows the hard work and moving personal stories behind the all-consuming Yes for Marriage Equality campaign.

Mise Éire (1959), Dir. George Morrison + Lorg na gCos (2012), Dir. Colm Bairéad
Rocky Road to Dublin (1967), Dir. Peter Lennon + The Making of Rocky Road to Dublin (2004), Dir. Paul Duane
The Pipe (2010), Dir. Risteard O’Domhnaill
What We Leave In Our Wake (2010), Dir. Pat Collins
One Million Dubliners (2014), Dir. Aoife Kelleher
The 34th: The Story of Marriage Equality (2017), Dir. Linda Collins & Vanessa Gildea
The Silver Branch (2017), Dir. Katrina Costello
The Image You Missed (2018), Dir. Dónal Foreman
When All Is Ruin Once Again (2018), Dir. Keith WalshROI: Watch on IFI@Home: www.ifihome.ie/page/iconic-docs
WORLDWIDE: Watch on IFI International: www.ifiinternational.ie/page/iconic-docs

Individual titles are available to rent for €3.99 – €4.99, with a full season pass available for €34.99.

IFI is principally funded by the Arts Council.

The IFI is supported
by The Arts Council

Arts Council of Ireland