On Parade is a documentary from director Jérémie Magar. With an anthropological and non-judgemental starting point, On Parade documents the reality of two Northern Irish Loyalist marching bands: the Shankill Road Defenders Flute Band and the Castlederg Young Loyalists.
The Shankill Road Defenders Flute Band, established in Belfast in 1957, is categorized as a Melody Flute band. On the other side of the country, in a small town near the Irish border, the Castlederg Young Loyalists Flute Band was formed in 1976, at the height of the Troubles, as a “Blood and Thunder” band. Each band represents an aspect of contemporary Ulster Loyalist banding culture. On Parade portrays their everyday activities as they prepare for the most important events in the Loyalist calendar.
With long musical sections and parading moments, the documentary aims to immerse the audience into their singular aesthetic, while exploring their culture and motivation through interviews with band members and researchers.
A Singular Vision on a Controversial Subject
Shot from 2015 to 2017, On Parade was conceived by the director as a continuation of his exploration of identity-building processes in different European countries. Although commonly portrayed within the context of the sectarian legacy of the Troubles, parading culture in Northern Ireland is more complex and its outcomes more positive than current media coverage allows.