Private Project

Gringo Mike

For the last twenty years Donegal man Michael Murphy has dedicated his life to a cause on the other side of the world – helping children with disabilities from very poor backgrounds in Lima, Peru, receive the treatment they badly need. With no support and very little protection offered by the Peruvian government, Michael has worked tirelessly to ensure that these children get the quality of life they deserve. This documentary looks at the work of Michael and his small team, and questions what drives this “gentle giant” to continuously devote his time and money to one goal – to change the lives of so many families in Peru.

  • Lorraine Harton
  • Lorraine Harton
  • Laura Smith
  • Lorraine Harton
  • Laura Smith
  • Fiona Coleman
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 31, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Ireland, Peru
  • Language:
    English, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Fastnet Film Festival 2021
    May 22, 2021
Director Biography - Lorraine Harton

Lorraine Harton is a filmmaker, producer and researcher. Lorraine has worked on productions for RTÉ, TV3 and on various feature films, as well as producing for production company Tailored Films for five years. Lorraine is currently working as a producer in content creation company Far From Avocados as well as working as a Film and TV lecturer.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I first found out about the subject of our film, Michael Murphy, through a mutual friend while planning for a trip to South America. I was interested in volunteering at a charity during my travels, but as soon as I found out about Michael's story I thought that it could make for an interesting documentary.

I've always been interested in people who devote their lives to a cause. I want to know what motivates them. When they have no direct connection to a group of people, when they could so easily look the other way and ignore it, what is it that spurs them on and continue to fight for the vulnerable, even when their own government doesn't appear to do the same thing? The fact that Michael intensely devoted the second half of his life to a cause on the other side of the world made it even more amazing to me. We discovered when interviewing Michael that he is also incredibly humble, and doesn't seem to have any idea of the effect that his charity has had on this particular area. It was only when we got to Peru and visited the families who are visiting the centre, that we really saw first-hand the difference one person can make.

There are many people like this in the world, ordinary people who have done extraordinary things because, for some reason, they felt that just couldn't look away. I believe that we sometimes don't hear about, or read, or see them enough. Hopefully documentaries like this will not only highlight what these incredible people have done, but also remind people that there are more people like this out there than we may think.