In Partnership With


Film, History and Education

Documentary film, public history and education in Northern Ireland

This AHRC-funded knowledge-transfer project explores how documentary film can facilitate historical understanding in a post-conflict context.

The Documentary film, public history and education project builds on the partnerships that emerged from the 2011-2012 AHRC-funded project, Documentary film and the public communication of historical knowledge in Northern Ireland. Through new and expanded partnerships with educators, cultural organisations, media-producers and broadcasters, this follow-on project further examines the relationship between academic history, factual film-making and the public communication of historical knowledge.

The earlier project consisted of an interdisciplinary collaboration between a historian and a documentary film-maker, culminating in the production and exhibition of the feature-length documentary, The Enigma of Frank Ryan (Desmond Bell, 2012). The Enigma of Frank Ryan draws upon the imaginative resources of the creative documentary to encourage an interrogation of history in a society where historical narrative is often divisive. 

On this website we provide a range of historical resources including interpretative essays, archival sources, recorded debates and further information about upcoming screenings and events. The website is designed to encourage film viewers to make their own assessments of the wider historical issues with which the films engage.