Sorry, this film is not available for viewing in your region

Unfortunately, due to copyright permissions we are unable to show this video in your area.







27 September 1981 (Irish release - Cork Film Festival); 14 March 1983 (first transmission)


1hr 50min 00sec




16mm, film



National Film and Television Archive


British Film Institute

Rights Holder

British Film Institute, RTE

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.


A woman returns to Belfast after a long absence. Her arrival stimulates a series of memories of childhood and adolescence both in herself and in other people.

Shot List

Maeve Sweeney returns to Belfast from London and to the Republican enclave close to the town centre where her father Martin, her mother Eileen, and younger sister Roisin continue to live. On the night of her arrival home, the neighbourhood is disrupted yet again as the British army examine a 'suspect device'. Maeve's return stimulates in her a series of recollections that are both an attempt to integrate herself with a personal history and to rationalise her separation from the past from which she feels distanced. Maeve recalls her childhood when she travelled with her father, a van driver, to a hostile rural town and how his storytelling about Ireland's past and his own memories were a continuous feature of the journeys. As a teenager she recalls her sexual awakening with her boyfriend, Liam, as they made love and talked in a flat above the meeting place of an organisation of mystics. While back in Belfast she meets Liam again but his critique of her personal journey through feminism, which he regards as separatist and a danger to republicanism, leads to her demanding to know from him what the position of women will be as regards control over their own fertility, the right to have an abortion and contraception, if republicans win the 'war'. Source: Rockett, Kevin, The Irish Filmography, Red Mountain Media Limited: Dublin, 1996, pp 187.


Cast - Mary Jackson - Maeve Sweeney; Mark Mullholland - Martin Sweeney; Brid Brennan - Roisin Sweeney; Trudy Kelly - Ellen; John Keegan - Liam Doyle; Nuala McCann - young Maeve; George Shane - Causeway man; Aingeal Greghan - Joan O'Neill; Carmel Greghan - Carmel Noonan; Mel Austin - Joe Sweeney; Justin Duff - Colm Sweeney; Billy Kane - Frank Doyle; Lucie Jameson - woman in hospital; Sheila Graham - Mrs McIlroy; Hugh McCarthy - airport security; Mike Vernon - seeker for lost knowledge; Rob Gotobed, Dave Smythe - men at party; Raymond Gardiner - young McQuade; Brid Davidson - young Roisin; Jackie Donnelly - taxi driver; Peter Quigley - brother-in-law; Brendan Burns, Niall Cusack, Steve Donaldson, Austin Herron, Michael Kinsella, Brian Lynch, Gerry McLoughlin - soldiers; Margaret McDonald, Seamus McGarry - checkpoint security; Margaret Lockhead, Susie Davidson, Margaret Keenan - nuns; Ann-Marie Robinson, Clare Robinson, Deirdre McManus, Jean Gardner, Paula Murphy - schoolgirls; Elizabeth Gardner, Teresa O'Kane - children on swing; Production Company - British Film Institute Production Board. In association with Radio Telefis Eireann. A film by Pat Murphy, John Davies, Robert Smith; Director - Pat Murphy, John Davies; Screenplay - Pat Murphy; Producer - Kate McManus, Alastair Herron, Pat Murphy, John Davies, Robert Smith; Cameraperson - Robert Smith, David Barker; Additional Cameraperson - Jane Clarke, Assistant Cameraperson - Ellin Hare; Editor - John Davies; Music composed by Molly Brambeld and The Country Four, 'One Day at a Time' sung by the Valentine Music Group; 'Structure #4' by Robert Boyle; 'Perfect Avalanche' by Desmond Simmons, Rob Gotobed; 'Concordat', 'Rodgigo' by Pete Nu, Sound Recordist - Chris Renty; (Sound) dubbing mixer - Colin Martin; Stills - Geraldine Sweeney; Costume designer - Elizabeth McCrum, Elise Taylor; Props - Tom Osborne; Grip - Mike Duffield; Gaffer - Philip Fegan; Great Britain (GB) distributor - British Film Institute.



Please scroll to review and accept our terms and conditions (last updated on ) before viewing the moving images content.

To remember your terms and conditions acceptance, you can register as a site member or allow cookies on your browser.