A BRAND new documentary film about the life and music of popular Irish singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey and his fans, entitled Love Yourself Today, is to be given a preview showing at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Monday, November 1.
The preview screening and Q&A with director Ross Killeen comes hot on the heels of standing ovations and rave reviews at its World Premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh in Ireland. The picture also picked up The Audience Award for Best Feature from IFI Documentary Festival.
The film centres around the music of Damien Dempsey, but also turns the lens onto his fans. Every Christmas in Dublin, the crowds gather for Damo’s Christmas gig at Vicar Street. For many, these shows have become a cathartic ritual, a safe space where emotions can be laid bare. Through the prism of the concert, we meet Dempsey and three members of the audience. We hear their stories, unravel their grief and find the light in the darkness through communal art.
With themes of addiction, loss but also hope and positivity, Dempsey’s music often reflects his fan’s pain, alleviates their anguish and ultimately provides peace as they ‘sing all their cares away.’
Part documentary, part concert film, Love Yourself Today is an emotive celebration of modern spirituality and the power of music to heal.
Speaking about the film, Damien Dempsey said: “It’s a wonderful movie about the healing power of music; how it can help heal trauma, lift us and help us through hard times. Singing and music are two of the few spiritual entities in the physical world, so we need to harness them and get people immersed in them, because when people lose themselves at a gig, when everyone sings together, they carry a vibration away from the gig that spreads out like a ripple into others, it’s a way of healing.”
Director Ross Killeen added: “Pre-Covid-19, we filmed in Vicar Street and captured the energy and spirituality in the room. It was special, with Damo the conduit on stage. The first job of the film was to capture what happens in the room authentically. The second job was to go deep with our three characters Nadia, Jonathan and Packy as they opened up about things that have happened to them in their lives.
“I’m immensely proud of this film and hope it does justice to the incredible power of Damo’s music and what he stands for but also the honesty, bravery and integrity of our cast. I can’t begin to describe the journey of making this film, but I’m really excited by the idea of people watching it together in a cinema soon.”
For further information and tickets visit: http://www.docnrollfestival.com/locations/scotland