U2’s Every Breaking Wave mini movie revisits Northern Ireland’s turbulent and troubled past

Every Breaking Wave follows two teenagers who fall in love amidst ongoing violence. The short film’s emotional core is centered around “Every Breaking Wave” and “The Troubles,” two tracks drawn from U2’s most recent album Songs of Innocence.

Via Rolling Stone…

The video for U2’s new Songs of Innocence single, “Every Breaking Wave,” dramatizes the wave of violence that swept Northern Ireland in the Eighties. Belfast-born filmmaker Aoife McArdle made the clip using footage from her 13-minute short film, Every Breaking Wave (streaming below), which came out earlier this month and made use of the U2 song of the same name and Songs of Innocence’s final cut “The Troubles.”

The video opens with images of moshing and crowdsurfing at a punk show — made surreal with U2’s serene soundtrack — as a skinhead teen and young woman lock eyes. It chronicles their fast romance, running through the woods and diving into swimming pools, and also depicts the religious divide between them (one is Catholic; the other Protestant).

From the Sixties through the late Nineties, Northern Ireland was the scene of violence as Protestant Unionists clashed with Catholic republicans, who wanted to secede from the U.K. and join the rest of Ireland. The lovers’ story accordingly ends in tragedy in the clip.


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