May: Out of Ireland
Karen Gleeson and Paul Sheridan, both coming from families with an Irish heritage, are featuring some films dealing with recent Irish events in this months' series. As always, these films are gathered from the collection in the Maine library's system.
All films are free and are shown Fridays at 7 PM in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library.
The Magdalene Sisters (2002) This powerful fiction film is based on true events: in the recent past, many young Irish girls were sentenced to work in the laundries of the Magdalene Sisters, where they became virtual slaves. Often the girls were sexually active, but many were only guilty of “high spirits.” Programs like this were finally exposed and stopped, but this film shows three such girls in 1964, when society was beginning to change. PG-13, 114 minutes, in English and Latin (we'll subtitle it). Rated R for sexual violence and strong language, some nudity.
'71 (2014) In 1971, at the height of The Troubles in Northern Ireland, a young British soldier becomes separated from his unit in the midst of a dangerous riot. This tense thriller is almost a documentary about those who were living and surviving in Belfast at the height of the religious tensions of the time. 99 minutes, rated R for strong violence and disturbing images. In English (we'll subtitle it).
The Guard (2011) As a change of pace, this is a dark comedy about mis-matched cultures. Brendan Gleeson is an Irish cop in the “Garda Siochána” (the Irish police force) and Don Cheadle the no-nonsense American FBI agent come to Ireland to investigate an international drug-smuggling ring. Despite strongly differing personal and policing styles they succeed in bringing the criminals to justice. 96 minutes, in English and Gaelic, subtitled for understanding. Rated R for various reasons.