In the presence of director Pat Murphy
This powerful drama retrieves a forgotten woman’s voice from Irish history, that of Ann Devlin who is usually described as housekeeper of Irish revolutionary Robert Emmet. The latter led an abortive rebellion against British rule in 1803 and was executed for high treason. Because of her association with him, Anne Devlin was captured and imprisoned but despite the threat of execution, she remained loyal to Emmett, and refused to inform on fellow conspirators, even when they turned against her. Working from Anne Devlin’s prison diaries, Pat Murphy rediscovers her life and times and reclaims history by telling it from the perspective of a woman who had frequently been marginalized in the annals. The theme together with the austere and painterly aesthetic of the film (1984) cemented Pat Murphy’s reputation as one of Ireland’s leading feminist filmmakers of her day.
Special thanks to ‘Screen Ireland’ and to Se Merry Doyle (Loopline Films Ireland) for making the restoration and digitisation of the original 35mm print of ‘Anne Devlin’ possible.