Sunday, 24 October 2010

London Film Festival: The Pipe

When evil multinational corporation Shell (boooo!) threatened to drop a ginormous gas pipe on the village where the hardworking, honest folk of Rossport in Ireland (hooray!) live and work, a David vs Goliath battle began which has raged for nearly a decade, and is documented in unpronounceable director Risteard Ó Domhnaill (let's call him Richie)'s simultaneously infuriating and heartwarming film The Pipe.
It's infuriating because it shows the methods a global giant will use to steamroller over a few pesky villagers who would, quite reasonably it seems, rather not have their entire livelihoods, homes and community destroyed, and heartwarming because the characters who absolutely will not give up and will go to astonishing lengths to fight The Man come across as real, genuine heroes. Watching fisherman Pat O'Donnell block the path of a ship the size of an aircraft carrier with his titchy fishing boat is an amazing image and perfectly encapsulates the enormity of the struggle and the spirit of the little folk.

While the documentary itself is decent enough, it's the post-film Q&As that make these events special, and it was great to see some of the 'stars' standing at the front of an auditorium receiving genuine, heartfelt applause from a room full of art-farty festivalgoers.
I only hope they don't try any Guinness while they're in London. They might go away with the impression that the English don't understand how to brew a decent pint of the black stuff.

The Pipe is showing on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd October (so you've missed those), and on Monday 25th October at 1.15pm at the NFT on the South Bank.

To comment on this post, click here


  1. They should build a dirty great Guiness pipe from their local pub to mine in England...

  2. It really sucked you in

  3. What a glib, sophomoric review from someone who couldn't bother finding out how to pronounce the director's name (pr Rish - tOrd Ó Doe - níl)!! Any of the 'stars' could have told you how. Was the juvenile reference to 'the black stuff' necessary on a subject where laws were bent and a community permanently scarred?