Today The Creators Project premieres Irish director Aoife McArdle’s Every Breaking Wave, a short film based on the U2 song of the same name. Set on the streets of early 1980s Northern Ireland, the film is built around themes of emotional abandon and the uncertainty of romantic relationships. It follows two teenagers, one Catholic and the other Protestant, who fall in love amidst ongoing violence and the film’s emotional core is centred around ‘Every Breaking Wave’ and ‘The Troubles,’ two tracks from Songs of Innocence.
‘I wanted to make a film about what it was like to be a teenager in the early ’80s in Northern Ireland.’ explains Belfast-born McArdle. ‘All the different pressures on you, the pressures of friendship, of falling in love for the first time, and all that in the face of huge troubles. Violence was inescapable on your doorstep. I remember very vividly what it was like to grow up when there were bombs going off and army everywhere so I did draw on a lot of memories.
‘I hope people see that it’s a story. A story that’s based on real stories. It’s like capturing a time. And I hope people feel inspired by how resilient teenagers at that time were in Northern Ireland, and moved by their ability to live life in as full a way as possible, despite the circumstances.’
Watch ‘Every Breaking Wave’ BELOW:
The film is already garnering praise and winning fans. Filmmaker Spike Jonze had not seen McArdle’s work previously but ‘was really taken’ with her film.
‘She captured that feeling and size of life of being a teenager and of first love so well. She drifts between the reality of friends and first love into fantasy so effortlessly and romantically. It’s a perfect little gem of a romance movie.’
Hotel Rwanda writer/director Terry George says McArdle has pulled off one of the most difficult tasks facing any filmmaker. ‘She has taken a Romeo and Juliet romance, set in the back streets and alleyways of Belfast, and created a universal story.
‘Aoife has captured the tragedy of our young men and women, so full of life and passion, energy and possibility, being swallowed up by the destroying rage of poverty, bigotry and repression.’
As for the band, whose song inspired the film, Edge says they find the finished film ‘extraordinary’.
‘The Aoife McArdle short film expands on the theme of Songs of innocence which was largely rooted in our experience growing up in the early eighties in Dublin.
Aoife chose west Belfast in the same period, as it was the neighbourhood that was so formative to her. We think her work is something pretty extraordinary.’