From Socialist Voice, June 2011



Last month the Irish Film Institute screened two films from the National Archive of Irish Film depicting the visit of two previous presidents of the United States, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. The films reflected how much had changed between the 1960s and 1980s in the Irish people’s perception of US foreign policy.
     The enthusiastic reception for JFK contrasted sharply with the huge demonstrations against Reagan and his Central American policies. What was so striking about the crowds in the Reagan protests was that they were clearly people from every section of Irish society. The film showed the creativity of the home-made posters and banners, and the imaginative and theatrical displays of dissent.
     It was fascinating to see the way the capital city looked twenty-seven years ago, shop fronts and buildings now gone, and also the people’s hairstyles and clothing. It seemed less frenetic, with a greater diversity of ages in the crowds—perhaps it was easier for elderly citizens to get around then. Children then often made their way around unaccompanied too.
     The IFI has regular screenings of film from the archive, twice weekly, on Mondays and Wednesdays, at 1:10 p.m. Admission free.
■ The Irish Film Institute is at 6 Eustace Street, Dublin. Further information:

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