We were delighted to be joined by Phil Collins on Friday for the screening of his film Bring Down The Walls.
Demetrious refers to the film as fascinating and foot-stomping, provocative and moving, multi-layered and extremely effective.
Inspired by his work with inmates at the notorious high-security prison Sing Sing, British artist Phil Collins in 2018 collaborated in a highly unusual project which sought to address the ills of the criminal justice system in the US. For one month, Bring Down The Walls turned a former firehouse in downtown New York into a civic space dedicated to social justice and prison abolition. By day it was a ‘school’ offering talks and workshops, by night the venue for some amazing dance parties.
The editing skilfully hones in on heartrending anecdotes
Collins’ film charts that extraordinary enterprise with a similarly hybrid form and spirit. It could be viewed as part concert movie, part campaigning documentary; in Collins’ mind, certainly, the music and the politics go hand in hand. The result is fascinating and foot-stomping, provocative and moving, multi-layered and extremely effective.
Arriving in Belfast Film Festival after appearances at a number of festivals in 2020 and 2021, including CPH:DOX and Sheffield Doc/Fest, the film thoroughly merits its continued play. In fact, given its correspondence with the Black Lives Matter movement, not to mention the craving of many to return to nightclubs and dance floors — who would derive much vicarious pleasure here — theatrical opportunities should not be out of the question.
DEMETRIOS MATHEOU, Screen Daily.