Image for Barbed Wire Love 5: Dancing on Narrow Ground


Barbed Wire Love 5: Dancing on Narrow Ground

26-28 March


GSFF 2021 Online

Barbed Wire Love 5: Dancing on Narrow Ground streams live at 20.30 on Friday 26 March, then is available to view on demand for 48 hours.

View here

Fifty-three years since the commencement of Northern Ireland’s Troubles, Barbed Wire Love presents intimate tales from those who stayed, those who left and those who passed through. Sisters and brothers, those who danced at raves, those who had good intentions and those who did not. Chance encounters, intimate first-person cinema and the unreliability of history and biography create space for wry humour and tiny ecstasies.

Dancing on Narrow Ground was commissioned by Channel 4 in 1995 but never aired on television, as it trod on too many toes. Des Bell’s film is part mission impossible, part rain-sodden Grecian tragedy as two groups of young working-class ravers from Belfast, one catholic and one protestant, try to reach rave heaven in legendary nightclub Kelly's on Northern Ireland’s North Atlantic coast. The landscape of the North of Ireland’s coastal towns is rendered in remarkable video footage, and the teenage protagonists are respected enough to relay their lives with thoughtfulness and depth. 

We see the teenage contributors at work within their communities and in the domestic spaces of their respective Lenadoon and Orangefield. However, the places they find themselves in are backdrops to their ultimate passion. They dance around outside gospel tents and talk of their lives devoted to the weekend. Des Bell's documents his quest to bring them together with humour and sincerity. The teenagers themselves seem curious to meet one another at Kelly's. Yet Northern Ireland's traditional tensions ramble on.

Dancing on Narrow Ground boldly asks can love of dance and music unify beyond the great divides of Northern Irish identity?

Curated by Myrid Carten and Peter Taylor.

  • Director Desmond Bell
  • Country UK
  • Year 1995
  • Duration 1h
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