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Further Beyond

Desperate Optimists' deliriously deconstructed biopic of the extraordinary Ambrosio O'Higgins, who left Ireland to become the captain general of Chile in the Spanish Empire.

Biopic 2016 88 mins Not rated

Director: Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor



Desperate Optimists present this deliriously deconstructed biopic of the extraordinary Ambrosio O'Higgins, First Marquis of Osorno. A misfit and adventurer, he left Ireland to become a Spanish colonial administrator, then served the Spanish Empire – almost by accident – as Captain General of Chile and Viceroy of Peru. His son, Bernardo O’Higgins, later became the first leader of independent Chile.

Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor (aka Desperate Optimists) present a discursive essay on how to tell a tale by undermining the very nature of the biopic genre. They send actors (Jose Miguel Jimenez and Game of Thrones' Aiden Gillen) to re-enact the journey and employ a dual voiceover through which the tellers humorously question their own relationship to the story. This includes the terms and conditions of their employment, as well as their part in the process of simultaneously creating and deconstructing the narrative. Within a specifically Irish context, the film investigates how travel and migration can transform identity and change the world. Building on the critical success of their (more) dramatic features, Helen and Mister John, Molloy and Lawler have crafted another unforgettable experiment in meta-narrative; one described in a five-star Guardian review as "exceedingly playful and intellectually stimulating... essential viewing."