Kathryn Ferguson / IE, GB, 2022 / 100 min.
Contemporary, feminist take on Irish singer Sinéad O'Connor’s words and deeds in the period from 1987 to 1993. O’Connor’s unique voice and appearance made her a sensation. But she was brutally punished for her political statements.
Music was therapy for Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor. She never aimed to be a pop star anyway, so she had nothing to lose. She also kept alive a long-standing Irish tradition of artists being activists. But it would cost her dearly.
This contemporary, feminist look at O’Connor’s words and deeds in the period from 1987 to 1993 reveals how ahead of her time she was. The key moment occurred in 1992 at a concert in honor of Bob Dylan at Madison Square Garden, where the audience booed her for several minutes because she had earlier torn up a photograph of the pope to make a statement against sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.
Based primarily on archive material, this portrayal reveals the roots of the rage of this exceptionally talented and uncompromising young woman, and what a devastating effect the Catholic Church had in her extremely repressive home country of Ireland. And there was also the misogyny that she faced from the music industry and the media. We hear from various artists and others involved, as well as from the strikingly soft-spoken subject of the film herself. O’Connor held up a mirror, she realizes now, and people didn’t like what they saw.
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