Silent Grace W/ Q & A

Saturday 28 Nov 2020 - 10:30am to 10:00pm


Recently placed at number 38 in The Irish Times’ list of the 50 Best Irish Films ever made…

This special screening will include a Q&A with Writer/Director Maeve Murphy and star Orla Brady. Chaired by James Flynn.

Written and directed by Maeve Murphy, Silent Grace dramatises a disturbing chapter of Northern Ireland's nonviolent dirty protests and hunger strikes by republican female prisoners in 1980 that were never made public. Whilst it were the male prisoners, greater in numbers who carried out large-scale hunger strikes, some starved to death and received all the public attention, what went unreported were the similar protests carried out by female prisoners with unyielding resolve and dignity, lasting almost a year.

Aine Quinn (Bradley) is an outspoken wild child whose behaviour gets her sent to the grim Armagh Women's Prison, where she's housed in a medieval wing with IRA inmates in the midst of a "dirty protest" against Margaret Thatcher, who's stripped them of political prisoner status. As Aine becomes sympathetic to their cause, she befriends the fragile Geraldine (Bradfield), the tough-minded Margaret (Seymour) and especially the group's fiery leader Eileen (Brady), who has communication links through the prison's governor (Mullen) and priest (Newman). Then Eileen decides to join the male IRA prisoners in their hunger strike.

Winner of the Soka Art Award. Nominated for the Conflict and Resolution Award at the Hamptons International Film Festival USA in association with the Nobel Peace Laureates Peace Foundation. Silent Grace was also chosen as UK entry for Cannes 2002.

'Murphy’s study of protests by female Republicans in Armagh Prison during the early 1980s felt like an overdue correction. It was a shoestring production, but Murphy’s poetic script and strong performances from Orla Brady and Cathleen Bradley helped it to soar. The film’s reputation has steadily increased over the intervening decades.' - Donald Clarke, The Irish Times

'Brilliantly confounds expectations. Maeve Murphy must be some kind of genius...A compelling coming of age story. I urge you to seek it out.' - Hot Press

'Orla Brady’s performance as the protagonist is deeply moving and stands out as the pillar of the film.' - Huffington Post

'Murphy’s approach is unusually even handed...well judged, rooted in its humanist agenda.' - The Irish Times

Maeve Murphy
Orla Brady, Cathleen Bradley, Cara Seymour, Dawn Bradfield, Conor Mullen, Rob Newman, Patrick Bergin
1hr 27mins