Skip to main content

HIGH BOOT BENNY

Ireland, 1993 (MIFF 1994)

Director: Joe Comerford

With his third feature, Irish director Joe Comerford constructs a powerful allegory on a conflict which has, over the decades, produced more deception than truth.

Murder, retribution and betrayal collide in this relentless portrayal of the aimless nature of violence that long ago made details of the war in Northern Ireland so unfathomable to outsiders.

Caught up in a vortex of emotional and political duplicity, seventeen year old Benny, on the run from home, 'the troubles' and his own burgeoning desires, initially finds refuge within the walls of a small non-sectarian boys school run by a Protestant woman and her erstwhile lover, an ex-priest. When the naked body of a police informer is found there, the fate of this strange trio comes under the shadow of deadly suspicion. Sexual and personal tensions escalate and in this border zone where fronts and factions constantly change, love, trust and non-partisan loyalties are a dangerous luxury. At the last point of survival the question becomes, "On whose side are you neutral?"

A coldly atmospheric and violent rites of passage drama, High Boot Benny moves with the driven pace and rhythm of an escape film, but one in which its protagonists have nowhere to run.

See also...

TRAVELLER

Michael is 17 years old, Angela is 16; they are travellers. They are Irish tinkers, reluctantly married to each other. When they are sent to the north of Ireland to buy radios and other goods for ... More »

Dream Kitchen

A young man arrives home to find his dad repairing the car again and his mum busy cooking, as usual. In these depressingly dreary surroundings the son imagines a luxurious dream kitchen, in which he ... More »

Errigal

Characters in order of appearance: the mountains of Donegal. ... Place: Ireland. ... Time: the ages. ... Plot: the battle with the elements. ... Dialogue: natural sound and music. ... A filmed play ... More »

Ten Steps, The

[The Ten Steps] has all the ingredients of a standard horror yarn: a creaky house with a terminal draft problem and a babysitter who should know better than to go into the cellar during a blackout ... More »

KNUCKLE (MA15+)

"Brilliantly brutal and intriguingly insightful... superbly records a subculture where violence and honour come knuckle-to-knuckle." - Screen International ... James Quinn McDonagh is a champion - of ... More »

KISSES

Two young runaways spend a night of adventure on the streets of inner-city Dublin. ... On the city fringes, Kylie and Dylan live in a housing estate devoid of life and colour. When Dylan's father ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director