Breaking Out

#Review: Breaking Out

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Interference, do you know much about this Irish band? Probably not unless you’re one of those musical afficianado’s who traverse the many retro vinyl stores hidden throughout Ireland. This band is instrumental in several generations of music lovers and yet you may never have heard of them. Breaking Out follows their lead singer Fergus O’Farrell who was quite the character.

The film is a documentary that follows Fergus throughout his entire life. From a combination of archive footage and documented footage over the course of ten years director Michael McCormack paints a picture of a man whose voice represented the spirit of Ireland.

I loved Breaking Out. It is the reason in my opinion that films are made. The story of Fergus is a fascinating one. He is quite a talent, one of the greatest I’ve ever seen. He is an incredibly magnetic force and the way that McCormack films helps to push that power onto the audience. McCormack shoots intimately with Fergus over the course of ten years. We see everything that Fergus goes through in his life. It’s an intense experience as you get to know every aspect of Fergus’ day.

You see Fergus suffered from muscular dystrophy when he was young and this played into how he was perceived unfortunately. Even though Fergus was a phenomenal singer it never translated to commercial success. This was in part due to the studios not believing in Fergus’ image. This was one of the many hurdles Fergus had to face throughout his life and it makes for quite the emotional story.

Truly Breaking Out

Breaking Out is filmed quite traditionally. It is a tribute to Fergus and his work with many of his friends, collaborators and family. Each of these people raising a glass to the man and his contribution to music. It’s a touching group of talking heads that have fond memories of simply being around Fergus.

The film also covers an incredible moment in Fergus which saw his involvement with the music in Once. Watching his journey throughout this period of his life is bittersweet. After all he isn’t able to fully enjoy the experience for various reasons.

Breaking Out is easily one of my favourite films of this year. I knew nothing about Interference or Fergus O’Farrell, now I do and I believe I am the richer for it.

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