Joe and Christine in Sight & Sound

As their CIVIC LIFE project goes on tour, the filmmaking duo tell Sophie Mayer of the BFI’s Sight & Sound about their radically communitarian brand of cinema.

HELEN (2008), the debut feature film from Dublin-born, UK-based filmmaking duo Desperate Optimists, had critics reaching for adjectives more usually associated with East European or South-East Asian than Anglo-Irish cinema: ‘haunting’, ‘enchanting’, ‘melancholic’, ‘mysterious’, ‘drifting’, ‘dreamlike’. The story of a lonely girl living in the care system (Helen) who takes on the role of a missing doppelgänger (Joy), first in a police reconstruction video and then into the lives of Joy’s parents and boyfriend, the film was both a lost-girls fairytale and a metaphysical meditation on identity, deeply embedded in social reality and yet magically ephemeral.

Read the full interview here.

See the HELEN trailer below.


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