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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


2020 Hot Docs 

2020 Human Rights Watch FF 

2020 Galway Film Fleadh 

2020 European Film Festival 

2020 Göteborg FF 

Free access
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
Online availability
Special collection - watch between Dec 20 - Jan 06