“Do wars really end?” asks the documentary "A Mother Brings Her Son to be Shot".
The documentary "A Mother Brings Her Son to be Shot" looks at modern-day Northern Ireland, particularly Derry, two decades after the Good Friday Agreement.
The film, “a family drama” according to filmmaker Sinead O’Shea, primarily focuses on the O’Donnell family. Mother Majella is faced with the “impossible” task of bringing her son Phil, accused of dealing drugs, to be punished by dissidents or risk an even more brutal attack instead.
Majella opts to cooperate and delivers her teenage son Philly to masked dissident republicans who shoot him twice in the legs.
“They told me what they were going to do,” says Majella, “They weren’t going to hurt as bad as what he was going to get.”
Writing for The Guardian, filmmaker O’Shea says, “Majella, her son and his shooters are all part of a community that considers itself to be still at war.
“They are Republican dissidents and do not feel represented by the Republicans who signed up to the Good Friday agreement on their behalf.”
The film was released in Ireland in September by writer and director Sinead O’Shea who spent five years in Derry researching her project.
Speaking with RTÉ, O’Shea said that while the peace agreements ended most of the violence in Northern Ireland, they “didn’t provide enough psychological support for people.”
Indeed, suicide rates in Northern Ireland have doubled since the signing of 1998’s peace agreements.
“Post-traumatic stress disorder is very prevalent there,” says O’Shea, who also points to the lack of “fulfilling employment opportunities” in Northern Ireland as a cause of the ongoing problems.
O’Shea is keen to note that her documentary “doesn’t represent all of Derry” and that the area is enjoying a growth of employment and tourism.
Watch the trailer for "A Mother Brings Her Son to be Shot" here: