The Black Guelph


John Connor’s latest movie is a violent and very gritty look at life in Dublin’s inner city and docklands area. It follows the relationship between Canto, a drug addict and criminal and Dan, Canto’s estranged father who is trying to reconnect and reconcile with him, and somehow make amends for abandoning him as a child. Both Canto and Dan are dealing with their own demons. Canto is involved in drug dealing gangs and when we meet him he has been kicked out of his flat by his pregnant girlfriend who is also refusing him access to his daughter. 

Dan is deeply involved with the courts in an on-going child abuse case and is dealing with his own drug addiction issues.

Canto’s girlfriend has given him one last chance to leave behind his criminal ways, and prove himself to be a good father. Similarly, Canto has given his father one last chance to reconcile, but circumstances get in the way which make for an interesting arc for the two main characters. Is Canto too embroiled with his criminal lifestyle to avoid making the same mistakes that his own father made?

Their problems are bad enough but the director adds to these by piling on the pressure from violent gang members who are persistent in trying to claim back what is owed to them. The film also features an exciting chase sequence, both on foot and motorcycle, where Canto tries to evade the pursuing gangs.

The two main male roles are brilliantly portrayed, as are the two lead female roles, and are supported by a great cast of Irish actors in some outstanding ensemble set pieces. The film uses very authentic locations which gives the film a very realistic looks and adds to the feeling of dread that everything is not going to end well for the main protagonists.

This is a director to watch – he is able to juggle all of these elements and the results are both exciting and captivating to watch as the story unfolds. This movie certainly deserves to be seen by a wider audience.

Ray Sherlock

  • DATE: June 30, 2023
  • WRITERS: Tiernan Williams, John Connors
  • DIRECTOR: John Connors
  • STARRING: Graham Earley, Paul Roe, Tony Doyle