Film Review: Young Plato

Kevin McArevey

The troubles began sometime in the late 1960s. It’s impossible to identify a precise date but needless to say there had been tensions, on and off, between unionists and nationalists for generations. This conflict lasted for the best part of thirty years, operating across a strict sectarian divide. Whilst peace has largely been maintained since, Brexit has sparked street protests and a new wave of political and social upheaval.

Northern Ireland is home to some of the poorest areas and communities in Britain. While the last few years have perhaps been kinder economically, younger generations are still dealing with the fallout. While many boys continue this circle of cycle, a headteacher in a Belfast school in the Ardoyne is trying to make a difference. Kevin McArevey is teaching his pupils the wisdom of the Greek philosophers. Young Plato joins him on this journey.

When riots, protests are marches in Northern Ireland aren’t making the news, it’s easy to forget that the Troubles didn’t simply end and everyone lived happily ever after. Declan McGrath and Neasa Ní Chianáin’s documentary is a stark reminder of the impact of generational violence. The lasting legacy of those dark times has been imprinted on those who witnessed them and their offspring. Young Plato is a sobering and emotive film about someone desperate to help make a change.

Young Plato is released in UK and Irish cinemas since 11 March.

Previous GFF Review: Silent Land
Next EP Review: The C33s ‘Benzodiac’ 4th March

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