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The Flats

A tower-block apartment in Belfast becomes a haunted inner landscape in a dark, cinematic film where the echoes of the conflict in Northern Ireland still reverberate in the corridors. An aging man on his final, existential mission confronts the ghosts of the past.

CPH:DOX (Denmark)

March 2024

Bookings closed

Capitole Leone (Italy)

April 2024

Bookings closed

DOK.fest München (Germany)

May 2024

Bookings closed

Subversive Film Festival (Croatia)

May 2024

Bookings closed

Sydney Film Festival (Australia)

6, 9 June

Bookings closed

Sheffield DocFest (England)

13 - 14 June

Bookings closed

Docs Ireland (Belfast)

18 June

SOLD OUT

“My aim was not to make a ‘political’ film, you know, but just to see the consequences of trauma… I thought, if we could get to the bottom of that, maybe it could represent the long-term consequences of many other wars as well.”

Alessandra Celesia (Irish News Interview)

An elderly man struggles to drag a coffin into a small flat in a run-down apartment block. A dark and mysterious scene that from the outset places ‘The Flats’ in a haunted interior landscape where past and present merge. And they certainly do in New Lodge in the centre of Belfast, a neighbourhood still haunted by the nearly 30-year conflict between Catholics and Protestants which officially ended in 1998. The man with the coffin is called Joe, and behind his unforgettable face, we still recognise the little boy who became involved in the bitter struggle for a united Ireland at far too early an age.

Today, he lives in ‘the flats’, and in his conversations with psychologist Rita, a rift in time and space opens up, revealing old ghosts. His 17-year-old uncle who was killed by a death squad. The street fights. The hunger strikes and the funeral of resistance icon Bobby Sands. Belfast’s painful modern history is tightly interwoven with the lives of Joe and the other New Lodge residents in Alessandra Celesia’s cinematic film, which deliberately unfolds in a timeless vacuum that resembles the 70s, yet is unmistakably contemporary. With reconstructions and a brilliant use of archival footage, Celesia conjures a subjective state where the past never really ended.

 

Produced by Films de Force Majeure (France), Thank You & Good Night Productions (Belgium), Planet Korda Pictures (Republic of Ireland), Dumbworld (United Kingdom)

 

Supported by Eurimages, Région Sud, Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée, Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, BFI Doc Society Fund, RTBF – Unité Documentaire and Magellan Films, Tax rebate, Northern Ireland Screen, Bourse Brouillon d’un rêve de la Scam

 

For UK Distribution/Press Inquiries contact [email protected]

Docs Ireland – Pull Focus section (Northern Ireland)

Sheffield DocFest – Memories section (United Kingdom)

Dok Fest München – Panorama section

Visions du Réel – Highlights section (International Film Festival Nyon, Switzerland)

CPH:DOX – DOX:AWARD (Denmark)

CPH:DOX (Denmark)

March 2024

Bookings closed

Capitole Leone (Italy)

April 2024

Bookings closed

DOK.fest München (Germany)

May 2024

Bookings closed

Subversive Film Festival (Croatia)

May 2024

Bookings closed

Sydney Film Festival (Australia)

6, 9 June

Bookings closed

Sheffield DocFest (England)

13 - 14 June

Bookings closed

Docs Ireland (Belfast)

18 June

SOLD OUT

Written and directed by Alessandra Celesia

Director of photography François Chambe

Editing Frédéric Fichefet

Sound engineer Quentin Jacques

Sound mixing Gilles Benardeau

Production manager Jérôme Nunes

Postproduction coordinator Nora Bertone

Producers Jean-Laurent Csinidis, Geneviève De Bauw, Jeremiah Cullinane, John McIlduff