ROCKY ROAD TO DUBLIN, made by a then-young filmmaker named Peter Lennon. Since 1968 when the film was first seen -- to much acclaim, at Cannes -- Mr. Lennon appears to have made his living somewhere other than in the world of film, as his IMDB profile is, well, short. No matter. This single work of his (so far, at least: He says he wants to return to film-making) will remain important to Ireland, and to the art of the documentary.
TrustMovies most about this 69-minute film is how full of energy it is, how alert and alive it -- and everyone in it -- seem. RR2D is also full of insight, some of this rather sad, considering how much and how little seem to have changed for the country in the course of the 40-plus years since filming took place. Lennon gives us a good dose of Irish history from the decades prior to the 1960s and then shows us Irish life -- the poor, the gentry, the middle class; and the changing face of culture, politics, youth, women and the church.
Raoul Coutard, who does a fine job of capturing the moment, up-close or distanced. How Coutard came to shoot the film is part of what makes The Making of (shot by Paul Duane) that accompanies the main feature such a treat. The history of RR2D is very nearly as interesting as the film itself, and Lennon and Coutard reunite to reminisce about the movie and its debut and Cannes and elsewhere. (Coutard's remarks about giving up smoking are hilarious and explain perhaps why his fruitful collaboration with François Truffaut suddenly ended.)
Icarus Films -- is one whopping good piece of documentary film-making, not to mention an amazing time-capsule of a people and an era. You can purchase it from Icarus itself or from Amazon, and soon, I hope, rent it from your favorite video source (as of this writing, Netflix lists it as "Saved: release date unknown").