Adam is a man left homeless in the wake of the Irish financial crisis. In Eden we follow him throughout one day of his life living on the streets of Dublin. We share in Adams living experiences and sometimes heartbreaking encounters with the different people from every walk of life he has while living rough.
Writer/director Robbie Walsh tells Film Ireland about his film.
“The idea of Eden was inspired in part from a very personal experience I had when I left the military – and which I won’t delve into. When I first began to put Eden together I had seen it as a short film and wrote short two people, talking-head scenes. I was originally to play the lead role of Adam but realized I couldn’t do it, along with directing and producing.
Donnacha Coffey suggested Johnny Elliott for the role, so I contacted, met him and knew he was perfect to play the part. I reached out to some of the most underused and underrated talent around to feature in smaller but very significant roles, Sarah Carroll as a former successful mum forced to “work” the streets, Chris Newman as an obnoxious posh guy, David Alexander as a heavy, Kellie Blaise and Nicci St George Smith in short but great scenes, Stuart Foran and Kevin O’Brien almost steal the film separately.
As myself, Donnacha Coffey and Francois Grey – both on camera and DOP duties – began filming around my hometown, we knew we could get more. So I began asking Johnny to improvise mundane things Adam might do to pass time as we walked between locations. To his phenomenal credit, I didn’t have to ask often as he would improvise as we moved – washing in a river on one of the coldest days of the year still gives me shivers to this day.
We filmed for 2 days and I got a call from my editor Richard Geraghty saying “we need another scene and a bit more footage and we’ll have the feature”. So I wrote what turned out to be the best scene in the film and we filmed an extra day. After a few months edit we had a stunning little film, it hit the festival circuit and was well received – honorable mention in international excellence LA Movie Awards – and was accepted to numerous international festivals over the years, but we couldn’t get any distribution.
A while passed and some re-shoots were required, which improved the film and it became better received than before. Unfortunately, and it saddens me to say, Eden has become far more relevant today and sadder still, a more common occurrence in Irish society. It is not an easy watch and shows the darkest side to homelessness but I’m very proud of the film.
Odeon Cinemas viewed it after they released Split and agreed to show Eden so we could raise money on behalf of the Dublin Simon Community. I’d hoped I was wrong about this situation when making the film in 2012.
Eden shows on Tuesday, 5th of march in Odeon Point Village at 7pm. All proceeds and donations go directly to the Dublin Simon Community
Ticket at www.odeoncinemas.ie