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Watch: New Documentary Explores Ireland's Relationship With Race And Identity

Watch: New Documentary Explores Ireland's Relationship With Race And Identity

'This Land' is a short documentary by Zithelo Bobby Mthombeni which explores the themes of race, identity and immigration in Irish society.

The documentary, produced by The Tenth Man, includes several different figures giving their perspective on living in Ireland, be it from birth or as they got older.

Mthombeni, speaking to culture magazine Soul Doubt, says that the idea was borne out of a previous documentary he directed about Ireland's burgeoning hip-hop scene.

As time went on, the more I thought about the concept of race and how it affects people and who it affects, it didn't make sense for me to only focus on one group of people. Race affects all kinds of people from different occupations, people from different backgrounds and people you wouldn't even assume would have faced any discrimination in their lives.

The documentary has a basis in culture, with the likes of journalists, musicians, and poets all being interviewed. However, there's also a wider scope of interviewee, with chefs, sportspeople and political activists also being involved. Regardless of who's being interviews, certain themes are consistent throughout, such as racism and direct provision.

Mthombeni saw this and explored further.

The material became darker, the questions became more difficult to answer and I think that can be seen in the final film. There’s a slight shift in terms of tones and the types of themes explored.


'This Land', although its runtime is a touch over 2o minutes, give more than enough food for thought. The film allows for reflection on what is being done in Ireland to make it a better place for everyone. Mthombeni wanted his film to serve as 'a commentary on the positivity that immigration has brought to this country.'

It does that, and more. It serves as a commentary on what ways these people have been let down, yet have still managed to thrive.

You can watch 'This Land' in full below:


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Sean Meehan

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