Is there balm in Gilead?

Directors : Luca Tuffarelli, Justine Doswell

Is there balm in Gilead poster Australian Film Festival OZIFF

Overview & Credits


"Justine Doswell" and "Luca Truffarelli" have collaborated with a group of talented dance artists - Salma Ataya, Justine Cooper, Millie Daniel-Dempsey, Oran Leong, and Emily Kilkenny Roddy - to create a poignant short dance film called "Is there balm in Gilead?". The film is set in the west of Ireland and explores themes of grief, loss, despair, and transformation. It draws inspiration from ethno-cultural myths and writings centered on the raven.

The film features a new recording of Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me to the End of Love," performed by Mary Coughlan, one of Ireland’s greatest jazz and blues singers. Through this captivating combination of music and dance, the film reflects on the paradoxical nature of life and our desire for redemption. "Is there balm in Gilead?" is a moving work of art that encourages viewers to contemplate life's complexities and find hope in the midst of sorrow.

Director Biography

Justine Doswell is a dance artist, choreographer and creative producer based in Dublin since 1997. She has worked with numerous notable Irish and international choreographers, directors and companies. Inspired by dynamic structure and living systems her choreographic practice has been supported by The Arts Council, Dublin City Council, Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Dublin Dance Festival, Dance Ireland, Dance Limerick, LD Dance Shawbrook, Liz Roche Company and The Lir Academy, THEATREClub, Dance Resource Base, The Complex and Dublin Youth Dance Company. Justine is an Irish Modern Dance Theatre 2021/22 Associate Artist and Arts Council of Ireland Next Generation 2021 Artist.


Justine Doswell - Writer / Producer

Key Cast

Salma Ataya
Justine Cooper
Millie Daniel-Dempsey
Emily Kilkenny Roddy
Oran Leong
Fiachra Raven Haven