Irish Film Institute -Deliverance


Director: John Boorman

U.S.A.| 1972. Colour. Anamorphic. 109 mins.

Along with The Emerald Forest, this is the clearest statement in director John Boorman’s output of his perennial concern with the clash between nature and civilisation. Four young men, city-dwellers with boyishly romantic notions about the unspoilt wilderness, venture into a mountain region of North Georgia to undertake a hazardous river descent—only to find it harbours far darker and more dangerous elements than they ever imagined. Once again, Boorman homes in on the mythic element in his story (adapted by James Dickey from his own classic novel), conjuring up notions of sinister pagan magic: ‘I shot the mountain men,’ he later recalled, ‘as though they were emerging from trees like malevolent spirits of the forest.’ A dark, despairing, nightmarish vision that lingers disturbingly in the mind.

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