New Irish documentary Ballymun Lullaby at the IFI tells the story of a creative community, an inspirational teacher and an extraordinary piece of music
Frank Berry’s charming new documentary observes the inspiring music teacher Ron Cooney in the lead-up to the release of the home-grown EP ‘Ballymun Lullaby’, a culmination of his many years dedicated work with Ballymun students. Ballymun Lullaby is released at the IFI from the 16th-22nd December with a special seasonal accompaniment – the Ballymun’s Children’s Choir will sing Christmas carols at the IFI before the screenings on the 16th and 18th December. Director Frank Berry will also take part in a post-screening Q&A on the 16th December.
The film mirrors the original song ‘Ballymun Lullaby’ by engaging with the story of this resilient but impoverished area and the changes that have come about with the stalled urban regeneration project. Opening with a prelude of archive material tracing the turbulent yet largely misrepresented history, the film reveals a community keen to dispel its undeserved and oversimplified reputation as one dominated by crime and violence.
While eloquent contributions from locals such as former Ballymun resident Glen Hansard (from Oscar-winning Once) draw out the complex identity of the area, the centre of the film is undoubtedly music teacher Ron Cooney and three of his students, each of whom plays an integral role in the EP’s production. Ron’s jokes provide much comic relief, but they also disclose his serious intent in using music as a means of teaching his charges skills and confidence to challenge preconceived notions of what it means to be from Ballymun. A timely reminder of the look and sound of real regeneration.
Tickets are available from the IFI Box Office, on 01679 3477 or online at www.ifi.ie.