New Irish documentary ‘Signs of the Times’ challenges us to look twice

Signs of the Times

In a post Brexit Europe, this new Irish short looks at the lives of non nationals living in Ireland making their way as ‘human directionals’ on the streets of Dublin.

‘Signs of the Times’ is a short documentary that looks at the stories, dreams and motivations of the street sign holders of Dublin. Known as human directionals in the advertising industry, they are dotted throughout the main thoroughfares of Dublin’s city centre. Poorly paid and mostly of non-Irish origin, the sign holders are human billboards. Day after day, in rain or shine, they direct shoppers to the small businesses in the shadow of the high street.

The sign holders are likes statues, motionless against the waves of indifferent shoppers, with only their thoughts and smart phones to keep them company. They are the ultimate people watchers. As the city pulses around them they see the little dramas of urban life unfold, sound tracked by their tiny plastic headphones.

In the documentary, we meet Houston Mathews, Sandip Babubhai Patel and Felipe Medeiros. As they go about their daily routine on Grafton Street the once faceless silhouettes become warm characters; generously sharing stories of family, encounters with strangers and their future plans. Watch it via Vimeo below.

Directed by Ste Rogers and produced by Brian Murphy and Natasha Duffy, the team set about to look at parts of Dublin usually unseen by the regular shoppers on Dublin’s Grafton Street.

‘Our goal with this particular film was to give a voice to the sign holders you pass every day on the main shopping streets of Dublin. People have a perception about who they are and why they do what they do and what is great about the film is you are turning all those perceptions on their head a little. Everyone has a story to tell and it was a pleasure to help Sandip, Felipe and Houston to tell theirs.’ says Set Rogers, Director.

‘We couldn’t have met three more genuine, lovely people. It was a pleasure to be able to learn about their backgrounds, what their plans for the future are and to get to know them.’ added Brian Murphy co producer.

‘We want to tell the stories of all of the people that make up the fabric and DNA of Irish culture. We hope viewers feel enriched and uplifted hearing about these three peoples lives.’ says Natasha Duffy co producer.