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ANNE DEVLIN

Ireland, 1984 (MIFF 1985)

Director: Pat Murphy

A quiet, literate, reflective film adapted from the journals of an Irish woman involved in Robert Emmetf s abortive uprising of 1803. The film follows her transformation from simple daughter of a peasant farmer, to her collaboration with the rebel leader.to her final ordeal in Kilmainham jail, where she spent long periods in solitary confinement under constant threat of execution. During her imprisonment she was subjected to vicious bouts of psychological torture - she was driven to the site of Emmett's public execution and forced to watch its gory aftermath, her youngest brother James was kept in her cell and allowed to die before her eyes.

Anne Devlin's tragedy is that while suffering these most frightful tortures, most of her companions were wildly indicting each other - and Anne - in an attempt to save their own lives. Her triumph is that her tenacity and courage eventually defeated the notorious Dublin Castle interrogators - at the end of 1806 they released her, broken in body but not in spirit, to a life of destitution and poverty.

Pat Murphy presents Anne Devlin's story in images of monumental intensity - reminiscent at times of French Revolutionary art, serving to underline the film's implicit, more general, concern with the hitherto hidden role of women in the historical process.

The script for Anne Devlin won the Arts Council Film Script Award and the support of the Irish Film Board It is the first feature to be financed, cast and crewed entirely from Ireland.

See also...

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