Paradiso – Review by Tim “Ghost”Gardner
Screening: Thur., Oct. 13—5;00 pm Block Philomethian Street Auditorium
Londonderry, Ireland is stunningly beautiful, which the filmmakers of Paradiso eloquently capture.
Equally elegant is the way the story of Paradiso is told. Much appreciated are the English subtitles even though English is being spoken. Aye?
The film draws you in like a welcome soak in hot mineral waters. The people are very nice; you like them straight away—all of them. And as Paradiso tucks you in for a blissful sixty-minute journey, you wonder: How is it that The Fountain, a city that fairly recently had a population of 15,000 is now unsteadily holding on at 328?
Upheavals and rebellions are nothing new to Derry. They date back to the 1640s and earlier. But in 1969 the city became a flashpoint for civil disorder and religious discrimination. Hastily created road barriers quickly became a tall security fence erected between Catholics and Protestants.
Prior to the violence, which came to be known as The Troubles, young adults from across the city easily mingled at The Memorial Auditorium in The Fountain. The Mem is where they met, fell in love and danced to local bands, including The Signetts who covered British and American rock-n-roll hits.
This multi-award-winning documentary is not about The Troubles. It’s about those left behind as they strive to maintain a vibrant community through their own cultural endeavors. At the heart of those endeavors is music and dance.
The last protestant enclave on the west bank of the city of Londonderry wants to reach out from behind its 240-paces-long fence. To do so, Roy Arbuckle takes a faithful step forward. He hopes to bring the formerly divided residents together again at the Mem to dance under the warm glow of community.Can the city learn a new tune? Or will the proposition seem too dodgy for many to mosey up? Would you dander up to the Mem after 40 years away?