Irish Film: Tadhg O’Sullivan’s The Great Wall to play IFI from August 21st

Tadhg O’Sullivan’s new film The Great Wall is to be exclusively released at the IFI from August 21st. A bold and timely new documentary, it looks at the enclosure of Europe by a system of walls and fences and captures the life of those on the perimeter. The film featured at the Dublin International Film Festival in March and was one of Scannain’s highlights of the festival.

Borrowing its title from Kafka’s short story about the building of the Great Wall of China, O’Sullivan brilliantly uses fragments of that story to overlay his mysterious and dazzling images, offering a piercing critique of the structures of power and exclusion at work inside and outside Europe and encountering those whose lives are defined by these walls – detainees in European migrant camps.

Shot in 11 countries over a year, the film journeys from the Spanish enclave of Melilla in North Africa where the border with the EU is marked by a three-metre high barbed fence, to London and Brussels where the shimmering office buildings reflect a deeper ideological fortification.

[quote title=”Tadhg O’Sullivan – Director”]For me Kafka is a brilliant guide to the times we live in: his is a magical lens through which to look at power, and for me, looking at power and how it is being articulated and realigned across Europe through finance, social division, migration and democracy itself is a really important thing to do right now.[/quote]

One of the most interesting talents to emerge in Ireland in recent years, O’Sullivan’s directorial strength is underpinned by his fine editing and sound artistry. An editor and sound design collaborator with director Pat Collins on films such as Silence, Living in a Coded Land and What We Leave in Our Wake, O’Sullivan’s first film Yximalloo (co-directed by Feargal Ward) won the Prix Premiere for best first feature film at FiD Marseille in 2014. That film also featured at the Dublin International Film Festival and captivated audiences.

On August 23rd at 1pm, O’Sullivan will be in conversation with Michael Ryan at the IFI, presenting and discussing a selection of his short works as part of the IFI’s Ireland on Sunday series.

The Great Wall is released on August 21st and tickets are available now on 01 6795744 or online at

The Great Wall was made under the Reel Art Scheme – an initiative of the Arts Council, Dublin International Film Festival and Filmbase.