The new London Irish Film Club series in association with Irish Film Institute launched on April 26th and runs fortnightly throughout the Spring/Summer season. The third in the series is Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey directed by Lelia Doolan.
Elected to the British Parliament in 1969 at the age of 21, Bernadette Devlin McAlliskey was the youngest-ever female MP and a key political activist in Northern Ireland during the troubles. Surnamed ‘Castro in a miniskirt’ by the media, she fought to end discrimination towards Catholics and was known for her fierce and committed stance and voice.
Recipient of many prizes and received with public acclaim across festivals in Ireland and the UK, this striking film draws a portrait of the woman from Derry through extensive interviews conducted across thirteen years. The recollections of her political engagement during the troubles are supported by archive material, providing an insight into her implication in these struggles, but also her conviction for socialist and feminist ideas.
However the film’s charm is also carried by the wit and eloquence of its subject, creating a work simultaneously entertaining, engaging and necessary as it brings to light a forgotten figure of contemporary Northern Irish history, righting a historic wrong through film.