Back to Films

Film Detail

Add to research


  • slideshow_large


Beginning in Vienna where the filmmaker meets her father, David, whom she hasn’t seen since she was two. Through a mixture of onscreen text, sit down interviews and archival footage, David’s early life as a teenage activist in Northern Ireland is revealed. The film then travels to Belfast and segues into an impossible reconstruction of David’s early years. In and attempt to better know him, Garnett uses previously recorded audio interviews to skillfully craft a lip-synced, cross-gender performance where she impersonates the his youthful presence and casts a transgender actress in the role of his girlfriend. The film cycles through various camera modes – narrative vignettes on RED alongside handheld camcorder footage of contemporary Belfast street life mixed with these verbatim re-enactments – to create a fragmented account of a teenager struggling to find an identity in a rapidly deteriorating society, and the parallel struggle of a filmmaker to connect with her estranged father. The layers of texture in this film mirror the fractured lens of history, and point to the impossibility of filmmaking as a container for 'Truth'. In TROUBLE, cinema is a means of rebuilding family ties of highlighting the complexities of representation and the construction of identity.
Official Selection BFI London Film Festival 2019 - Experimenta Strand - World premiere


Type of film
Running Time
82 min
HD video
Mariah Garnett 1st Feature
Manal Laginaf
Mariah Garnett
Director of Photography
Kevin Treacy, Simon Mills, Mariah Garnett
Principal Cast
Robyn Reihill

Production status


Please let us know if we need to make any amendments to this Film entry mailing us directly at

Last updated 23rd September 2019

Production Company

US, UK co-production

Mariah Garnett
+1 323 513 8390