Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey

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Documentary


The story of Bernadette Devlin McAliskey's remarkable political life is told in Lelia Doolan's inquisitive documentary, which combines remarkable archive footage with intimate interviews conducted with its subject over the last ten years. A member of the People's Democracy movement in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s, Bernadette Devlin was elected MP for Mid-Ulster when she was 21 years-old and still a student, and briefly rattled the Wilson government and the Westminster establishment.

She witnessed the Bloody Sunday massacre, and went on to co-found the Irish Republican Socialist Party, only to leave it soon afterwards. She survived an assassination attempt while campaigning for the H-Block hunger strikers in the early 1980s and her family suffered harrassment for years beyond that.

The archive footage presents her as a firebrand with a gift for public speaking, derided as 'Castro in a miniskirt' by one opponent. Now into her sixties, she remains just as articulate and uncompromising, critical of the Good Friday Agreement while still deeply passionate about - and engaged in - community politics.

Doolan's film acknowledges a unique, formidable figure in the Irish civil rights movement.

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