I Must Away

A film by Dennis Harvey

Dennis left Ireland in the midst of the global financial crisis in order to find work abroad. Hashem was a politician in Bangladesh, but had to flee for Spain after a change in government and threats on his life. Alicia left Peru for Chile, and then Chile for Spain, after falling into debt selling goods on the streets. By age eighteen, Ali had fled Afghanistan, Iran and Sweden, finally reaching France, where he hoped to receive asylum. Mary, Dennis’ grandmother, and John, her elderly neighbour, lived in Ireland their entire lives, just six miles from where they were born. They watched the majority of their siblings leave a poverty-stricken rural Ireland for the chance of a better life abroad.

Floating between Ireland, Spain, Chile, Sweden, France and Bangladesh over seven years, I Must Away follows four migrants who have each left home to rebuild their life abroad. Narrated by a series of letters from the director to his grandmother, the film is a kaleidoscopic vérité essay which disentangles roots, land and identity in our age of migration.

Production facts:

Writer, director and producer: Dennis Harvey
Dramaturg: Kevin Breathnach
Executive producers: Melissa Lindgren & Tobias Janson / Story AB, Maximiliano Scheleff / Pajareza Films, Clare Stronge / Plainsong
Cinematography: Dennis Harvey, AliReza Naghavi, Tuva Björk, Maximiliano Scheleff, Manolo Rämö Díaz & Alexandru Timosca
Editing: Neil Wigardt & Dennis Harvey  
Sound recording: Simón Arias & Tomás Arias
Additional writing & still photography: Maureen Rowan
Colour grading: Peter Magnusson
Sound design & mix: Thomas Jansson
Key art: August Håkansson
Artistic advisor: Ewa Cederstam
Music: Thomas McCarthy, The Deadlians, Poor Creature, Nonconnah, John Francis Flynn & Lankum
Languages: English, Spanish, Swedish, Bengali
Format: HD / 16:9
Running time: 75 min
Shooting: 2014-2021
Year of production: 2022

Funded by:
The Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon
Konstnärsnämnden / The Swedish Arts Grants Committee

Made with support from:
UnCUT - Ung Filmproduktion
Noncitizen Collective
Annick Sjögrens arbets- och resestipendium

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