Pray for Our Sinners

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BBFC Ratingf-rated FilmPray for Our Sinners

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CertificateNot Rated
Director(s)Sinéad O'Shea
Writer(s)Sinéad O'Shea
Running Time1HR 21MINS
Extra InfoRec 12+, Director Q&A on Tues 25 Apr
SeasonMain Programme

Pray for Our Sinners is a film by Irish documentarian Sinéad O’Shea (A Mother Brings Her Son to Be Shot) about the activities of the Catholic Church in her hometown, Navan, and its mistreatment of the vulnerable, especially women and children.

The film is not a straightforward narrative of sinners and victims. The story that emerges is a nuanced account of Catholicism and its role in Irish life. It focuses on the tradition of silence in Ireland and how difficult it has been for the people from Sinéad’s hometown to articulate the suffering they endured.

It is only through old friendships and neighbourly connections that we hear previously untold testimonies from mother and baby homes, and stories from within school classrooms about corporal punishment. By taking such a personal approach, Sinéad has crafted a fresh and ultimately definitive account of how Catholicism wielded such power in Ireland since it gained independence.

Through the voices of its gently heroic characters, Pray for Our Sinners depicts a society full of love and hope. As the film says, “There is always a way to resist.” 

The 6.00pm screening on Tues 25 April will be followed by a Q&A with director Sinéad O'Shea.

“A quietly devastating exposé.” Vox

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