YOUNG PLATO

YOUNG PLATO

YOUNG PLATO


Ireland, Great Britain, France, Belgium 2021
102 minutes
directors: Neasa Ní Chianáin and Declan McGrath

A remarkable continuation of dealing with school and growing up problems from creative and life tandem - director Neasa Ní Chianáin and producer David Rane. If you enjoyed watching their previous hit, magnificent documentary "In loco parentis", this new one continues to reveal the beauty of direct, wonderful relationship between teacher and students. This time an experienced documentarian Declan McGrath joined them in a role of co-director.

To discover Plato in one of the most troubled areas of Belfast, in a poor area divided by religious and economic problems and conflicts, seems quite unreal. In this incredible life story, elementary school pupils and their teachers try to stop the tide of all kind of aggression and conflicts, current and those from the past; to stop or at least mitigate them with wisdom and thoughts of philosophers. The enthusiastic headmaster calls upon ancient thinkers for help, his only allies in the battle against entrenched frustrations and violence they cause. He offers his anxious and confused pupils a precious, almost magical tool - a mental distance that lifts them high above the harshness of reality. The filmmakers focus all their attention on the dynamic, witty headmaster, a fan of Elvis Presley, and his relentless struggle to establish this new perspective with pupils as an invisible but solid and salutary platform from which children can see the world as it is and see themselves in it without fear.

This is a wonderful documentary manifesto about the power of human thought and the power of speech and conversation, a documentary that bears witness to the exciting connections of past, present and future.


Neasa Ní Chianáin

Born in 1966 in Dublin, Ireland. Trained at the National College of Art & Design in Dublin, and worked as a freelance Art Director on Irish feature film and television projects. She started directing documentaries in 2001. Her films were awarded and screened at numerous international festivals. Since 2006, she has been co-director of the Guth Gafa International Documentary Film Festival in the Northern Ireland.

Selected filmography

  • NO MAN’S LAND, 2001
  • GODS, FAERIS AND MISTY MOUNTAINS, 2003
  • FRANK NED & BUSY LIZZIE, 2004
  • FAIRYTALE OF KATHMANDU, 2007
  • THE STRANGER, 2014
  • IN LOCO PARENTIS, 2016 with David Rane
  • YOUNG PLATO, 2021 with Declan McGrath

Declan McGrath

He was brought up in North Belfast, just over a kilometer from Ardoyne, during the Northern Ireland conflict in the 1970s and 1980s. For more than twenty-five years, he has been working as an editor of numerous feature films and documentaries, many among them awarded. Directed documentaries for television. He received multiple awards for his work. He has taught film in Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Dundalk Institute of Technology, and University College Dublin, Ireland. Wrote two books - "Screencraft: Editing & Post-Production" and "Screencraft: Scriptwriting", both translated into five languages.

Selected filmography

  • LOMAX IN ÉIRINN, 2018
  • TÍR EOGHAIN: THE UNBREAKABLE BOND, 2019
  • YOUNG PLATO, 2021 with Niasom Ni Kinon