The Future Tense


This film, made and recited by the writers, Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor, seems to be essentially centred on the idea of a Home Place and how this feels. They have both lived in Britain for a large part of their lives and have a teenage daughter, Molly. Now seems to be the time to reflect and maybe come back and live in Ireland, possibly on a remote, small Island.

Their thoughts concerning this dilemma come together on the flight from Britain to Dublin which they have taken many times but not for the last three years due to the pandemic.

For the same reason, no actors were used and they subsequently read all these musings back in what looks like their home office.

England comes out of all this in a very negative light, between Rose Dugdale, debutante turned violent gangster rejecting her culture, to the Famine Graveyard and it’s heartbreaking story, a thoroughly tasteless piece on Blighty by two “comedians” and the demise of the Irish language (even though it has been taught in schools for decades) this seems to be only going one way and coming home to be a no brainer. Molly says she will have to think about this and fair play to her.
The piece about Joe’s mother who suffered severe mental illness is indeed tragic and hard to watch. I hope making this film has been cathartic for him and his family.

I just couldn’t warm to this film. I felt it was disjointed, there was too much use of still photos, how many pictures can one view in 90 minutes before it becomes very tiresome. A country cottage couldn’t be found to film inside for Rose Dugdale’s hideaway so they filmed in through the window. Molly stood in for Rose (viewed from the back and having negotiated a €50 fee, she will go far).

As a family home movie for posterity (they took a portrait photo every year of the three of them and that was lovely), this could work but not otherwise. It’s a no from me.

Brenda Greeley

  • DATE: August 23, 2023
  • WRITERS: Joe LawlorChristine Molloy
  • DIRECTOR: Joe Lawlor, Christine Molloy
  • STARRING: Derry Lawlor, Joe Lawlor, Molly Rose Lawlor

This documentary is structured around a plane journey from London to Dublin.
Joe Lawlor and his partner Christine Molloy are trying to decide whether to move back to Ireland. Belonging is a theme throughout . Questions are asked like the following: Living in different places, does it make you different ? In different places do different thoughts emerge?

There is a great deal covered in this documentary. The famine in Ireland, Immigration, Rose Dugdale and her involvement with the I.R.A. Joe speaks about his personal life and especially about his mother’s childhood and her mental illness which plagued her all her adult life. He spoke about his Mum in a very loving compassionate way. I doubt anyone could listen to him and not be moved.

Joe and his partner Christine are filmed separately sitting at a desk reading from a script. I did not feel this worked very well when Joe spoke about his personal life and that of his family. I feel it would have a stronger impact on the viewer if he was sitting in a more relaxed setting like a sitting room in a nice comfortable chair , just recounting his life and that of his family without a script.

I ask the question: Do you need a script to speak about your own life?
This documentary is thought provoking and informative. It explores a variety of ideas. A lot of questions are asked and considered. Will they stay in England or go to Ireland? Is it now time to make a move?
Worth watching.

Maria McCormack