"An American in Paris making films about Ireland" – this is how Donal Foreman describes his father, Arthur MacCaig, in The Image You Missed, Foreman’s fascinating film essay about his father – someone he had little contact with.
During his career, Irish-American MacCaig (1948-2008) made films about the conflict in Northern Ireland and left behind a visual archive spanning thirty years – images Foreman uses to find out what he has in common with his father. Both make films, both emigrated to another country, albeit in opposite directions: from America to Europe and vice versa. But it’s the differences that stand out: Foreman moved back to Dublin, while MacCaig had preferred to film in divided Belfast.
The main difference lies in their approach to images and what these say. Foreman, for example, analyses what is missing from the films MacCaig made. And although he has respect for his father’s political convictions, he does not share them.