To coincide with the release of the soundtrack by composer Roger Doyle, the Archive is happy to screen Bob Quinn’s controversial film Budawanny. Years before the exploits of bishop Eamonn Casey became public knowledge, Cinegael director Quinn’s film (later reworked and released as The Bishop’s Story in 1994) depicts the doomed relationship between a young priest and his housekeeper. Set on a remote island of the West coast of Ireland, the film tells of a curate who offers refuge to a troubled young woman, taking her into his home as a housekeeper. Their relationship soon develops from that of employer and employee into something more intimate, resulting in the conception of a child.
Budawanny’s style is uncompromising. The island scenes are silent and in black and white, which accentuates the harshness of the isolated community and the futility of the relationship between the priest and his lover. The minimalism is further underlined by the contrasting use of colour and sound for the shots on the mainland. Seamus Deasy’s cinematography and Roger Doyle’s soundtrack compliment the splendid performances of Donal McCann (the priest), Maggie Fegan (the housekeeper) and Peadar Lamb (the bishop).

Ireland, 1987. Black and white and colour. 79 mins.

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