High Boot Benny

Director: Joe Comerford

High Boot Benny is an even more straightforward allegorical tale than its predecessor (Reefer And The Model), set around a ‘neutral’ school run by ‘the matron’ (Tomelty) and Manley (Devlin), a maverick ex-priest, on the windswept border between North and South. Teenage delinquent Benny, who sports a mohican and steel-shinned boots, is a metaphorical and literal outsider who spends his time wandering the rugged landscape that surrounds the ex-fort, looking after animals and taking refuge (and physical comfort) at the school. When the school ‘caretaker’ is found murdered, Benny finds himself inexorably drawn into the conflict between the local police, the British army, loyalist paramilitaries and the local IRA men and women. Into the arms of which group will he be drawn? Comerford’s powerful film is a daring, demanding blend of didactic, flourishes of images of elegant, dark, beauty, brooding psycho-drama and cold-blooded analysis.

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