97 minutes, Germany-Ireland, 2011, Colour, D-Cinema.

There will be a Q&A with director Ian Fitzgibbon hosted by Newstalk’s Philip Molloy following the 18.20 screening of his film on November 30th.

Shown to fantastic audience response as the Closing Gala of this year’s Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, this is the warmly funny and surprisingly uplifting story of terminally ill 15-year-old Donald (Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Love Actually).

Donald works through his feelings on his prognosis in sessions with therapist Dr. King (Andy Serkis) and in comic book-style drawings in which he is an invincible superhero fighting his mortal enemy. Despite his illness, Donald has the usual concerns of a teenage boy – sex, primarily. With the arrival of quirky new classmate Shelly (Aisling Loftus), this becomes secondary to the romance blossoming between them, and the problems attendant on first love.

Refreshingly, Donald’s illness does not dominate the film; instead, it’s a starting point from which the film examines common teenage issues, given extra weight and urgency by the character’s condition. The film’s refusal to indulge in unnecessary sentimentality ensures that when it begins to pluck on heartstrings it does so on its own terms, and with genuine effect. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)

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