Director Luke McManus on the burdens of discrimination and stereotypes borne by a people long dismissed

The film-maker’s 2022 documentary North Circular read like a love letter to a Dublin often ignored. Circular Line is primed to do the same again, writes Kate Demolder

Filmmaker Luke McManus. ‘I’d been thinking about [filming North Circular] for at least ten years . . . I’ve learned that if something comes up in your head and doesn’t go away, you have to make it happen.” Picture: Bryan Meade

You could argue that one of the most important parts of a documentary actually lives off-screen – the virtual tension of systems, causes, history, and society at large that visibly trace in the present tense of filming. To cater for this – whatever it is that lies just beyond the camera’s range, but actively directs it – film-makers develop their own complex strategies: music, lighting, animations, sounds.

For Luke McManus, director of the award-winning documentary North Circular, his choices are sufficiently analytical as to evoke an iceberg – only the tip of which exists on-screen. Tracing underfunded and underappreciated places along the eponymous Dublin road (Mountjoy, O’Devaney Gardens, Summerhill), McManus’s reporting of a neighbourhood long dismissed provides a keen analysis of systemic social disorders left to coexist within the viewer long after the credits roll.