After years of making films in conflict zones around world today I go to the home of the one which first got me interested in politics, Belfast.
I guess it was ‘The Troubles’ which got me interested in international conflicts; I remember persuading Channel 4 to let me go and meet a commander from the IRA with a view to making a film – that was in the good old days when such things were persuadable. Unfortunately I missed the flight due to the stupid Easy Jet check-in rules and maybe, possibly, the fact that I was late for the flight.
But finally, a few years later, I’m on my way to Belfast (unless I miss this flight) to show my Yemen film ‘The Reluctant Revolutionary ‘- I am curious to see how the audience relates to another conflict zone like Yemen, and to see if it rekindles memories of their own bitter war, one which it seems hasn’t completely gone away and which remains visible through so many aspects of Northern Irish society all these years later.
I’m also curious to taste the Northern Irish Guinness – I wonder playfully to myself, ‘Does it have a British taste or an Irish one’, and could the answer be the real barometer of the peace process?