Filmed over 10 years and covering a lifetime, Breaking Out is the story of singer and musician Fergus O’Farrell, an artist whose unique talent inspired a generation of songwriters and touched thousands of lives, even as his own was slipping away. Its pace matches the remarkable energy of its central character, a man whose pursuit of perfection, gift for friendship and capacity for love captivated all who met him.
Breaking Out draws on decades of archival footage and contributions from an array of Irish musical talent. Jeremy Irons tells the unforgettable story of a man who found his release through music and his ever-changing band of musicians, Interference.
Muscular dystrophy was Fergus’ earliest interference. First, he lost the strength to stand at the microphone. Then, his ability to play guitar and piano was taken away. Yet, through it all, he had to keep singing.
When he could no longer travel, Fergus’ friend Glen Hansard and The Frames travelled to West Cork to help him finish the album he had been working on for 20 years. It was a final race against time before that great gift, his voice, was gone.
This is the story of that voice, and Fergus’ fierce passion and dedication to his art.
Q+A with director Michael McCormack and cast
“A touching legacy, lovingly told, of an indominatable man and an inspirational artist.”— WF
Irish Documentary Competition
Director Michael McCormack
Script Michael McCormack
Producers Michael McCormack, Aideen O’Sullivan
Cast Fergus O’Farrell, Meng Li O’Farrell, Glen Hansard, Jeremy Irons, Vincent O’Farrell, Maureen O’Farrell, Steve Wall, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Liam Ó Maonlaí
2019 | Ireland | 84 mins | Documentary