A film by Dennis Harvey
In a series of letters to his grandmother in Ireland, migrant filmmaker Dennis Harvey reflects on movement across borders.
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, I Must Away is a meditative mosaic which explores the personal and political forces of migration. Moving beyond the tired image of the suffering migrant, the film demonstrates a unique sensitivity to the shared experience, despite stark material differences, of building a home when you have left the one you were given.