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FROM THE VAULTS: IFI & ABBEY THEATRE: THE BUTCHER BOY

Neil Jordan

Neil Jordan’s adaptation of Pat McCabe’s dark coming-of-age story delves into the bizarre world of Francie Brady (Eamonn Owens), his alcoholic father (Stephen Rea) and suicidal mother (Aisling O’Sullivan) in smalltown 1960s Ireland. Francie lives vicariously through comic books, TV serials, and adventures with his best friend Joe Purcell (Alan Boyle).  Drawing together a variety of themes from clerical sex abuse to the arrival of American popular culture in Ireland and the Cuban Missile Crisis, the film plays on themes of apocalypse to tell a story about a young boy gradually losing his grip on reality.

Presented by London poet and performer Inua Ellams, the screening will be followed by readings of new work from five poets responding to the film in an event which finds new ways to appreciate political, social and cultural resonances of the film.

Notes by Sunniva O’Flynn

110 mins, Ireland, 1997, 35mm

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