ost documentaries we feature on Short of the Week tend to be on the somber side, so when alumni directing duo, Jonny Madderson and Jono Stevens’s (Postcards: Five Stone of Lead) latest project ended up in our submission box, we had a feeling that we were going to see something full of energy and charisma. We weren’t disappointed. Created as part of Red Bull and Just So’s latest short docu-series The Way of the Wildcard, Boys From The Back Of Beyond features the O’Donovan brothers’, Ireland’s first rowing team to ever medal at the Olympics. It’s a fairytale underdog story told by a wickedly talented directing team.
Boys From the Back of Beyond transports you to tiny Skibbereen, Ireland, where you are more likely to find sheep than tall buildings. And, while it may be a remote town, you’ll feel right at home in this sports doc. The film equally paints a portrait of a small town and its people (with all of the silly Irish humor you could hope for). By the film’s end, you won’t be just rooting for the O’Donovan’s, but the town itself. Madderson and Stevens manage to capture a sense of community and wholeness that, in light of recent days, serve as a precious reminder that we are all in this together!
Admittedly, I’m that person at weddings who ends up in full meltdown mode when experiencing overly happy moments, so it’s easy to imagine how I looked by the end of this feel-good doc. Full of camera comedy and quick edits akin to an action film, Madderson and Stevens’ filmmaking will sweep you up for a comic, entertaining, and emotional ride.
They are currently working on a new documentary series about “childhood wonder” which will be out in a few month’s time, while also continuing their work with ex-robber turned triathlete, John McAvoy, from Episode 1 of The Way of the Wild Card, in a series intended to inspire vulnerable young people in the UK.
Let us know which episode was your favorite in the comments! We imagine you’ll be binge watching like we did.