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Anne Devlin

Director: Pat Murphy


Pat Murphy’s film is based on the life of the neglected historical figure Anne Devlin
(Brid Brennan), who had observed the 1798 rebellion at close hand and worked
with Robert Emmett in the planning of the abortive rising of 1803. Subsequently
she was arrested and tortured but refused to name the conspirators. She was held
in solitary confinement for three years in Kilmainham Gaol and her entire family
were also imprisoned, seven of them died in captivity before her own release due to
illness. She related her life story, subsequently published in ‘The Life, Imprisonment,
Sufferings and Death of Anne Devlin’, before dying in abject poverty.
‘Anne Devlin’ is a quietly resolute re-telling of a tragic chapter in Irish history
from a hitherto unheard perspective. Pat Murphy maintains many of the visual
trappings of the conventional period drama while constantly demanding the
viewer re-examine the received rules of the genre by using the medium to
mirror the point of view of her eponymous protagonist.
(1983, 124mins)

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