The Image You Missed

This event took place Jun 1 - Jun 3, 2019

$12 General Admission
$9 Student/Senior
$7 Member

Dónal Foreman
Ireland, US & France
1h 13m


An Irish filmmaker grapples with the legacy of his estranged father, the late American documentarian Arthur MacCaig, through MacCaig’s decades-spanning archive of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

Drawing on over 30 years of unique and never-seen-before imagery, The Image You Missed is a documentary essay film that weaves together a history of the Northern Irish Troubles with the story of a son’s search for his father. In the process, the film creates a candid encounter between two filmmakers born into different political moments, revealing their contrasting experiences of Irish nationalism, the role of images in social struggle, and the competing claims of personal and political responsibility.

Eschewing easy conclusions in favor of infinite critique, the politics of the film are found, even more so than in Foreman’s conflicted admiration for MacCaig and the nationalist movement, in its very approach to image-making and historical memory—a devastating performance of the inseparability of the personal, the political, and the aesthetic.” – Patrick Harrison, MUBI Notebook

Superb … A wonderful film from an intriguing, restless talent … Following up Out of Here, a narrative hit here in 2013, Foreman’s new film elegantly intertwines Irish history and a study of parenthood to form an intelligent cinematic essay.” – Donald Clarke, The Irish Times

Poetic and poignant … Engaging and evocative … A film full of vulnerability and bravery … The profound reflections of a seasoned filmmaker.” – Síomha McQuinn, Film Ireland

Foreman’s excavation of a familial rift unearths stories without neat conclusions. Yet some common ground is nevertheless found. Despite working in different climates, the perspectives of father and son, at least, meet on the subject of documentary film-making. They believe in the power of images and, as Mr Foreman said in an interview, the importance of ‘conjuring ghosts, not getting rid of them’.” – Sarah Jilani, The Economist


In response to André S. Labarthe and Janine Bazin’s wonderful series ‘Cinéastes de notre temps‘, dedicated to classical auteurs described by their spiritual heirs from the Nouvelle Vague, our series pays tribute to known and unknown filmmakers who have participated with guns, cameras, or both simultaneously, in the struggles of resistance and of liberation throughout the 20th century, and to those who today continue to fight against all dictatorships. Fearless and often heroic auteurs, they are examples of relevance and courage for which the cinema thankfully represents their collective history; filmmakers of the struggles for liberation, often with romantic trajectories, are also those who have most encountered censorship, prison, death, and today are consigned to oblivion.

The series does not stem from a dogmatic list of the rules of the game. It is precisely the opposite, which conducts the movement of films; a gesture of freedom, without weight, by which the filmmaker can witness the work of another filmmaker, of his aesthetic, ethical, and political engagement, of his struggle with the world and with himself.

Each film from the series is thus in itself a particular object which will have been thought out, produced, and realized according to the necessity that it brings. Each film addresses a common concern shared by all the others—that of transmitting the power of cinema when cinema and life are so deeply affected by one another. It is this concern that forms the unity of the series.

— Philippe Grandrieux, Nicole Brenez

Films in the series:

  • Masao Adachi, dir. Philippe Grandrieux, 2011
  • Salut et Fraternité. Les images selon René Vautier, dir. Oriane Brun Moschetti, 2015
  • The Image You Missed, dir. Dónal Foreman, 2017
  • Newsreel : du cinéma anonyme vers des luttes nommées, dir. James Schneider & Ivora Cusak, 2018

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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