I Am Belfast

Directed by Mark Cousins
UK | 2015 | 84 min | creative documentary English

Creative documentary done in a style unique to Mark Cousins – a visual, poetic depiction of Belfast and its citizens, told with love and passion of someone, who has left the city many years ago but is still fascinated by it. The film personifies Belfast and portrays it as an experienced gentle, older woman (played by Helena Bereen), who has seen, and accepted it all. She leads the viewers through the changing landscape Belfast and spins a tale of its history, while addressing philosophical questions about the nature of man and about a city as an urban phenomenon. Themes brought up in the film range from the landscapes surrounding the city, its changing architecture and social structure to the political and personal repercussions of the Northern Irish conflict.

Cast & Crew

Director: Mark Cousins
Screenplay: Mark Cousins
Cinematography: Chris Doyle, Mark Cousins
Editing: Timo Langer
Cast: Lector – Helena Bereen
Producers: John Archer, Chris Martin
Production companies: Hopscotch Films, Canderblink Film

  • Mark Cousins
    Mark Cousins

Festivals & Awards
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Adelaide Film Festival
BFI London Film Festival
Teheran Documentary Film Festival
Copenhagen Architecture Festival
Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival
Istanbul Film Festival
Seattle International Film Festival
Traverse City Film Festival

press quotes

Any old documentary can give you the history of a city, but it takes a special kind of movie to capture its spirit. Aided enormously by the visual coaching of Christopher Doyle, whose welcome input brings the glow Cousins has always admired in others’ films, finally present in one of his own.

A blend of documentary, love letter and abstract visual poem. (…) A charmingly offbeat tribute to a big-hearted city.
The Hollywood Reporter

Mark Cousins

Mark Cousins is an Northern Irish filmmaker, writer and curator living and working in Scotland. In the early 1990s he became director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. His 2004 book The Story of Film, was published in Europe, America, China, Mexico, Brazil and Taiwan. The Times said of it “by some distance the best book we have read on cinema.” Cousins adapted the book into a 930 minute film, THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY (“The place from which all future revisionism should begin” – New York Times). Michael Moore gave it the Stanley Kubrick Award at his Traverse City Film Festival. It won a Peabody Award in 2014.

Next Cousins wrote, directed and filmed his first feature documentary, THE FIRST MOVIE, about kids in Kurdish Iraq. It won the Prix Italia. His other feature films include WHAT IS THIS FILM CALLED LOVE?, HERE BE DRAGONS, A STORY OF CHILDREN AND FILM, which was in the Official Selection in Cannes, LIFE MAY BE, co-directed with Iranian filmmaker Mania Akbari, and 6 DESIRES, an adaptation of DH Lawrence’s book Sea and Sardinia.

He is currently making STOCKHOLM MY LOVE, a city symphony starring Neneh Cherry, and directing the archive film ATOMIC, a collaboration with the band Mogwai.

Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise, documentary
2015 I Am Belfast, documentary
2015 Your Eyes Flash Solemnly with Hate, short
2014 6 Desires: DH Lawrence and Sardinia, documentary
2014 Life May Be, documentary
2014 The Place, short
2013 Here Be Dragons, documentary
2013 A Story of Children and Film, documentary
2012 What Is This Film Called Love?
2011 The Story of Film: An Odyssey, TV Mini-Series documentary – 15 episodes
2009 The First Movie, documentary
2008 First Impressions, Video documentary short
2008 The New Ten Commandments, documentary
2005 Cinema Iran, TV Movie documentary
1999-2000 Scene by Scene, TV Series – 3 episodes
1994 I Know Where I’m Going! Revisited, TV Movie documentary
1993 The Psychology of Neo-Nazism: Another Journey by Train to Auschwitz, documentary