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A Mother Brings Her Son to Be Shot

Five years in the making, this brave and level-headed documentary exposes paramilitary activity in present day Northern Ireland during a supposed time of peace.


Dir-Scr Sinéad O’Shea
Prod Ailish Bracken, Sinéad O’Shea, Figs Jackman
Prod Co Blinder Films, Spring Films

Filmed over five years, this unflinching documentary examines violence committed by groups opposed to the peace process in Northern Ireland, long after the Troubles came to an end. The title is no exaggeration. This tenacious investigation focuses on a Derry mother subjecting her own drug-addicted teenage son to the punishment of dissident Republican paramilitaries, who respond to so-called antisocial behaviour with kneecap shootings and banishment. Award-winning journalist Sinéad O’Shea gains access to a former IRA member-turned-community mediator to learn about everyday realities behind the headlines, asking: ‘What does it take for a war to really end?’. The result is a finely balanced example of documentary filmmaking, featuring extraordinary moments such as a choreographed street display by masked gunmen. A compelling film, it gains resonance given the uncertain future of Northern Ireland’s power-sharing agreement – you have to keep reminding yourself that this is happening in the UK

Manish Agarwal

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Sinéad O’Shea, Director

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

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