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The Butcher Boy

Director: Neil Jordan


Neil Jordan’s twisted version of a coming of age story, The Butcher Boy brings the viewer into the bizarre world of Francie Brady (Eamonn Owens). With an alcoholic father (Stephen Rea) and suicidal mother (Aisling O’Sullivan) at home, Francie lives vicariously through comic books, TV serials, and the adventures he has with his best friend Joe Purcell (Alan Boyle). When his mother’s death is followed by the slow loss of his friends and family, Francie finds himself falling into madness, irrationally blaming his losses on Mrs Nugent (Fiona Shaw), the middle-class mother of a local boy. Bringing together a variety of themes from clerical sex abuse to the arrival of American popular culture in Ireland, The Butcher Boy is set during the Cuban Missile Crisis and plays on themes of apocalypse to tell a story about a young boy who has his life collapse around him.

Awards:
Silver Bear award for Best Director at the 48th Berlin International Film Festival 1998
Best Cinematographer at the 11th European Film Awards 1998

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