The Blocks

The Blocks Trailer

The Blocks is an animated short film made by the Rialto Community Drug Team group Step by Step with artist Gary Gowran and his small production company Splitting Borders. A group of five local women, led by Joanie Whyte, worked emotionally and creatively on a process to explore the generational impact of addiction on family life. They invited Gary into the journey to support them to develop a story and script that would be translated into an animated film. The result is an intimate depiction of life through the eyes and hearts of girls in Dublin sixty years ago. Rose, Margaret, June, Maureen, Joanie and Janet are keen to share the complexity of happy, content childhood memories mixed with the worries and fears of adult life that are bigger than any child’s ability to cope.

This project was proudly co-produced by the Rialto Community Drug Team, supported by the HSE and Canals Community Local Drug and Alcohol Task Force. The script was co-written by the Step by Step group and Gareth Gowran with Sadhbh Lawlor. All character development, background design and animation was created by Gareth Gowran. Voice work was performed by local actor Phyllis Corish.

The Blocks short film is available as a tool for education and exploration by groups run by health and community organisations. Some of the themes touched on in the film include; addiction, adverse childhood experiences, resilience, personal history, inter-generational trauma, childhood memories and coping strategies.

Technical Details

Film Title: The Blocks

Duration: 00:11:15

Format: 1920 x 1080 HD

Year of Production: 2018 – 2019

Language: English

Country: Ireland

Directed by Gary Gowran

Story by Gary Gowran, Sadhbh Lawlor and the Step by Step Group

Produced by Rialto Community Drug Team and Splitting Borders

Narration by Phyllis Corish

Digital Animation, Stop Motion Animation, Story Art and Production Design by Splitting Borders Productions

Supported by Canals Community Local Drug and Alcohol Task Force and the Health Service Executive