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The 8th

The 8th

94' 2020
dir.: Aideen Kane, Lucy Kennedy, Maeve O'Boyle

Irish women's struggle for access to legal abortion - from Catholic fundamentalism to a secular state

In 1983, a referendum introduced the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, drastically limiting women's access to legal abortion. Thirty-five years later, on May 25, 2018, another referendum did just the opposite - 66% of voters supported abolishing the eighth amendment from the country’s constitution. How did this profound social change come about? The filmmakers follow the RepealThe8th campaign, focusing on pro choice veteran Ailbhe Smyth and the remarkable, as she calls it, “glitter activist” Andrea Horan. But they also look at the counter-campaign and give voice to its advocates. Measured by the rhythm of rising pre-referendum tension, the documentary brings back the turning points of the entire process, such as the shock of 2012 that followed the death of Savita Halappanavarm, who was denied an abortion at a Galway hospital. It also shows the broader context of shifting public attitudes, led by the exposure of the Irish Catholic Church's dark secrets. The grand finale features women's tears, though they are tears of euphoric joy.

Maciej Nowicki


Hot Docs 2020
Human Rights Watch FF 2020
Galway Film Fleadh 2020
European Film Festival 2020
Göteborg FF 2020

94' 2020 USA, Ireland
Aideen Kane, Lucy Kennedy, Maeve O'Boyle
Matt Leigh, Laura McGann, Esme Macnamee, Michael O’Donovan
Jordan Montminy, Maeve O'Boyle
Fork Films