A pair of star-crossed lovers attempt to overcome the violence of 1980s Northern Ireland in the new U2-inspired short film, Every Breaking Wave, centered around the track of the same name off the band’s 2014 LP, Songs of Innocence.
Directed by Aoife McArdle and debuted on the Creators Project, the 13-minute clip opens on a group of Catholic lads goofing off before hitting a punk club, where one boy, Sean, catches the eye of a crowd-surfing girl, Sandra. She catches up with the Sean after the show, stealing his cigarette as he lays in the street with a friend, who later informs him the she’s a Protestant. Nevertheless, the couple come together to the tune of “Every Breaking Wave,” but scenes of their budding romance are undercut with outbursts of intense violence that culminate with the vicious arrest of Sean’s father.
In the aftermath of the arrest, Sean isolates himself from Sandra and prepares to join forces with a group of Catholic militants. During a meeting, however, Sean answers a knock at the door and finally reunites with Sandra — but their moment is cut short when a bomb goes off. Amidst the smoke and rubble, the pair find each other and together, lift an injured friend off the ground while U2’s “The Troubles,” also off Songs of Innocence, begins to play.
“I wanted to make a film about what it was like to be a teenager in the early Eighties in Northern Ireland,” McArdle, a Belfast native, said in a statement. “All the different pressures on you, the pressures of friendship, of falling in love for the first time, and all that in the face of huge troubles. Violence was inescapable on your doorstep. I remember very vividly what it was like to grow up when there were bombs going off and army everywhere so I did draw on a lot of memories.”
Every Breaking Wave follows U2’s Films of Innocence, a collaborative project for which the band tapped 11 urban artists to create a collection of short films to accompany every track on Songs of Innocence. U2 released their latest LP last fall, delivering the album for free to everyone with an iTunes account. The band will embark on the ambitious Innocence + Experience World Tour this May, during which they’ll play at least two shows, if not a few more, in 19 cities across the globe.