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BERNADETTE: NOTES ON A POLITICAL JOURNEY

Director: LELIA DOOLAN

88 minutes| Ireland| 2011| Colour/Black and White| D-Cinema


EXCLUSIVELY AT IFI
Winner of the Best Feature Documentary prize at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh, Lelia Doolan’s account of the tumultuous political career of Northern Irish activist and ‘speechifier’ Bernadette Devlin McAliskey atmospherically conveys the complex and volatile environment, both personal and political, in which she rose to power.

Benefiting from a wealth of highly-charged archive footage, particularly from the most thoroughly recorded period of Devlin’s career, when she was elected MP for Mid-Ulster in 1969 as a 21-year-old student, the historical material is interspersed with extracts from a series of more recent interviews. The contrast between the images of a zealous Devlin presented in the early footage with those provided in the much calmer interview setting allows a complex and intricate picture to evolve, one that’s no doubt aided by the eloquence and fluency of the film’s subject. In contrast to an opponent’s derisive description of Devlin as ‘Fidel Castro in a mini-skirt’, Doolan offers an in-depth perspective on a formidable figure of recent Irish politics. (Notes by Alice Butler.)

Director Lelia Doolan will participate in a post-screening Q&A on November 18th.

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