Director: Pat Murphy

115 minutes, U.K.-Ireland, 1982, Colour, 16mm

Pat Murphy’s first and most experimental feature film was informed by feminist debates on the objectification of women and by the unresolved questions of the relationship between feminism and nationalism, and between history and myth.  

Set during the Troubles, Maeve (Mary Jackson) returns to Belfast after a long absence in London. She spends time with her sister Roisín (Bríd Brennan) who still lives with their father Martin (Mark Mulholland), and with her old boyfriend Liam (John Keegan).

Much of the film is structured around conversations between Maeve and these characters, who in turn represent varying political viewpoints, interspersed with flashbacks to Maeve’s time in London. The film is careful to avoid the conventions of mainstream filmmaking. (Notes by Ruth Barton.)

This event is part of Beyond the Bechdel Test, our season throughout July focusing on the work of directors who have explored the complex ties between women that are an integral aspect of the films’ narratives, named after the American cartoonist Alison Bechdel who introduced the idea in her 1985 comic strip.


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