Video: Virtual reality film charts history of Belfast's peace walls

Attendees at the launch of new documentary 'When Will The Walls Come Down?'

A VIRTUAL reality film charting the history of Belfast's peace walls has been launched.

'When Will the Walls Come Down?' immerses the viewer in the worlds of two neighbours separated by the walls, a Catholic youth worker and Protestant mother.

The 15-minute documentary, available on YouTube, has been filmed to be best showcased on smartphone virtual reality (VR) headsets.

"Belfast has some 97 peace barriers," the text in the opening scene reads.

It begins with an aerial view of west Belfast's Cupar Way peace wall. Its construction began in 1969, but it still exists almost 50 years on.

In the film, an army general can be heard telling journalists the earliest stages of the walls, then barbed wire, were "very, very temporary".

Viewers donned VR headsets to watch the film at a launch event on Tuesday at the Innovation Factory on Springfield Road.

Director Brendan McCourt of New Red TV said: "Some of these walls, despite only being temporary structures, have existed longer than the Berlin Wall which was demolished almost 30 years ago."

Peter Osborne, chair of the Community Relations Council which funded the film, praised it for highlighting the issue.

"The film shines a light on the negative social and economic overhang of peace walls on local communities either side of them. It challenges us all to do more to remove them," he said.


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