Titles by John Reilly and Stefan Moore

The Irish Tapes

1975, 57:23 min, b&w, sound

The Irish Tapes was one of the first major video documentaries produced with 1/2-inch portable equipment. From 1971 to 1973, Reilly and Moore shot over one hundred hours of footage in Northern Ireland, profiling one of the most volatile and violent moments in the decades-long conflict.

Reflecting on the experience in the Filmmakers Newsletter (December, 1975), Reilly and Moore conveyed the extreme production conditions: "Several of us at Global Village started to work with the National Association of Irish Freedom; we had no idea that before we were finished we'd travel thousands of miles on a laughable budget, shoot 100 hours of tape with relatively untested equipment, face sniper fire, get ourselves arrested at gun-point, break many of the major rules (and probably all the minor ones) about sensible production methods, and somehow, after nearly a year in the editing room, end up with the first major documentary done on 1/2 inch videotape."

The Irish Tapes includes rare interviews with members of the Provisional IRA and the individuals suffering the unrelenting violence in Belfast, together with Irish-American perspectives on "The Troubles," to conjure a deeply resonant vérité portrait.

Originally shown as a three-channel, twelve-monitor installation and then edited for broadcast television in 1975, The Irish Tapes offers an immediacy, intimacy, and subjectivity that speaks to the creative and political potential of the emergent video technology of the 1970s.

Camera: Laura Adasko, Claude Beller, Louise Denver, Stefan Moore, Joel Moss, David Reedom, John Reilly, Bob Wagner. Interviewer: Louise Denver. Editors: Stefan Moore, Jeffrey Kleinman. Assisted by: Neil Conan, Peggy Elliot, Ken Kohl, Arby Schuleman, Ray Sundlin. Produced by John Reilly in association with Global Village. Interview produced by the TV Lab at WNET/Thirteen.