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 »

Undressing My Mother

Ken Wardrop's award-winning film is an intimate portrait of an elderly, overweight woman, which reveals her perspective on issues of love, ageing and body image. It screened at the Critics' Week in ... More »

Thirty Five Aside

Fitting into a new school is hard work particularly with a dad who can't seem to stay out of prison, some grand scale schoolyard terrorism and the biggest and most embarrasing school bag you have ... 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 »

CRIMINAL CONVERSATION

Four successful professional people. ... representative of the self-admiring “new" Ireland and proud of their image in society, are trapped for one night into acting out the truth about themselves ... 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 »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director