‘It didn’t matter what color your hair was, or whether you were a Protestant or a Catholic, it just mattered that you were a punk.’ This was and probably still is the motto in life of Terri Hooley, the man who inspired the film Good Vibrations directed by Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn, whose screening was occasioned by the British film festival.

 

source www.facebook.com

source www.facebook.com

 

We are introduced in the atmosphere of the 70s by a number of newsreels of the period. While the flower power, pop, hippie movements were winning over much of the world with their message of peace and non-violence and with their music times were tough for Northern Ireland where the religious conflict entered in a violent phase which was going to leave more then 3000 people dead on all sides. Terri Hooley comes from a political involved family, his father was an idealistic Communist, and Terri loses an eye as a kid in a hate act. His great passion is however music, and with music he tries to bridge the gaps between communities, to bring together people around good and beauty, to what should be normality in a world of conflict and violence. And then the opportunity shows up, as he discovers the young people trying to escape the constraints of the society but also of the conventional culture and express themselves and their feelings in in the visceral and straight roughness of punk music. Hooley will help the emerging Northern-Irish punk bends record and distribute their music, and transform Belfast in one of the punk capitals of the world. Suddenly the city known in the news only for conflict and violence becomes a point of cultural interest, a stage for new and innovative music which crosses communities, religions, and haircuts.

 

(video source Premiere Scene)

 

Good Vibration is a simple and direct film about the power of music, about the capacity of doing good in evil times, about the beauty and necessity of escapism. Actor Richard Dorner draws a passionate portrait of a man who lives for music, who believes that music can bridge and heals. It is not an idealized portrait, as family life falls victim to Hooley’s passion, and this aspect is not neglected. It’s not a perfect film, some of the supporting characters could have been developed for example, but overall it’s, well, a film that passes good vibrations. And there is a lot of music of course, I have never been a fan of punk, but I may become one.

According to the news a few months ago Terri Hooley was attacked and abused in his neighborhood in Belfast. Even if 30 years after the troubles the situation in Norther Ireland is much better than it was, healing and reconciliation may have their chance, sequels of the past still show up and the balance is still fragile. The Good Vibrations shop of Terri Hooley opened and closed a few times. Life has ups and downs, but good sometimes prevails.