Helen – a startling first feature, showing exclusively at the IFI from Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy (the Irish-born London-based duo the Desperate Optimists) marks them as distinctive new talents to emerge in these islands in the past few years. Helen tells the story of a lonely hotel maid (Annie Townsend) who volunteers to play the missing girl in a police reconstruction and learns so much about the young woman’s life she almost wants to take her place.
Owing much to the likes of European art-house big-hitters Theo Angelopoulos and Michael Haneke, but also imbued with a Loachian compassion for its working-class heroine, this is a story of loss and longing.
Joe Lawlor of the Desperate Optimists will discuss Helen and other film projects on May 2nd, IFI Meeting Room, 3.30pm (immediately after the film screening).

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