Saturday 21 April 2018

Short film on Dublin children playing in heatwave goes viral

Sophie Gorman, Arts Editor

A short film about Dublin kids jumping off bridges and cranes into the canal has gone viral since it was posted this morning.

'Becoming Men' features beautiful footage of young daredevil boys cooling off from our hot summer in Dublin’s Grand Canal Basin played out against a narrative of an older man reminiscing about his own days of canal diving.

Filmed in July by the newly formed Motherland, it was very much a group effort, with camera work by Keith Harrison, Peter O’Brien and John Cutler, editing by Joe Rigby, who also came up with the concept, and it directed by Ross Killeen.


“Event Junkies is the name of our main company, but we wanted to set up a sister company Motherland to do more creative videos, to make something that wasn’t for a client but was a passion project. And Becoming Men was our first film,” says Killeen.

“It was back in July when the weather was so good and Joe came up with the idea of doing something about all the kids jumping in the canal.

"We just went down to the basin one day and started filming. The kids were all totally up for it.


"I think the point of the film is that everyone was giving out about these kids, saying they were up to no good, but really they’re just having a good time and not really causing anyone else any trouble.”


“After we had this footage of the kids, we were thinking of interviewing one of them, but then we decided to try to find someone who had done it years ago and juxtapose his rememberings of his own youth with the images of the kids doing it now.

"We forget it is such an age old tradition, kids have been jumping in canal for generations.”

The narrator is Terry Fagan and Killeen had worked with him on an earlier project as Fagan is an archivist for the north inner city of Dublin. “He grew up around Foley Street, near Sheriff Street, and these are his genuine memories of what it was like, how he felt jumping in.”

Some of the images are dramatic, kids jumping off the tops of cranes, off the roofs of derelict buildings.

“Kids have that sense of fearlessness, of immortality, and I think adults are secretly envious of that, envious of that time in your life when you can just spend summer days enjoying yourself with friends, the carelessness of that time.

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