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Abstract

Rocky Road to Dublin was certainly one of the first, if not the very first Irish film ever selected for inclusion in the worldwide famous Cannes festival. Unfortunately, this was in 1968 and Jean-Luc Godard, along with other nouvelle vague filmmakers, insisted on closing down the festival after only a few days. We will examine the exchanges that occurred between Irish and French culture in the making of this independent documentary film, how it was received, and the film’s notoriety in Ireland and in France from 1968 until today. We will question Lennon’s ‘personal attempt to reconstruct with a camera the plight of an island community which survived more than 700 years of English occupation, and then nearly sank under the weight of its own heroes and clergy.’1 The film’s aesthetics will be examined as Lennon’s voice-over and comments are related to Coutard’s visual style. Two major excerpts from the film will be highlighted before we move on to the film’s relevance in the last two decades.

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