IFI Documentary Festival 2016: How To Defuse A Bomb: The Project Children Story

Director: Des Henderson

90 mins, Northern Ireland, 2016, Digital

Journalist Susan McKay will host a Q&A with director Des Henderson and producer Ed Stobart following the screening.

In 1975 Irish immigrant Denis Mulcahy of the NYPD bomb squad  – gathered a group of family, friends and neighbours to start a scheme offering children from Northern Ireland a chance to temporarily escape the violent turmoil of their daily lives. From modest beginnings Project Children ultimately brought over 20,000 Catholic and Protestant children to suburban US for summer-long visits where they forged unexpected friendships and found they had more in common with the “enemy” than they thought.

Featuring a gem of a 1970s American TV film of the scheme and contributions from Bill Clinton, Martin McGuinness and the now-adult children, the personal stories are positioned within the wider political story of how Washington struggled to deal with Northern Ireland and Irish-America’s complex relationship with home.

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