Filmmaker Sinead O’Shea presents a screening of her documentary, A Mother Brings Her Son to be Shot, at the Princeton Garden Theatre. Screening followed by discussion with writer/director O’Shea and Irish scholar and critic Fintan O’Toole.

Presented as part of the spring 2019 Fund for Irish Studies event series; please note different location and time than other series events.



One night Majella O’Donnell took her teenage son Philly to be shot in both legs. Majella, Philly and his shooters all live within an extraordinary community in Derry, Northern Ireland. The “Troubles” officially ended in 1998 but this community is still at war. They do not accept the government or police. All this happens within the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom. How do you bring your son to be shot? What happens afterwards? How does family life continue? How does a community respond? When do wars really end? For five years Sinéad O’Shea has filmed this shocking portrait of a post conflict society.


sinead o'shea

Photo by Conor Horgan

Sinead O’Shea is an award-winning filmmaker and journalist.

Her first feature documentary A Mother Brings her Son to be Shot premiered at the London Film Festival and was one of the most successful documentary releases in Irish cinemas of 2018. The Oscar nominated director Joshua Oppenheimer is executive producer.

A Mother Brings Her Son To Be Shot won a Special Mention Award at the Warsaw Film Festival and has been nominated for a FACT Award at CPH:DOX, Copenhagen, Maysles Observational Documentary Award at the Belfast Film Festival and Best Feature Documentary at the EBS Documentary Film Festival in South Korea and the Budapest Film Festival.

Previously Sinead covered Ireland for The New York Times. She has also directed and produced films with Al Jazeera English, BBC, Channel 4 and RTE. She won an Irish Media Justice Award for Lives in Limbo with The Irish Times and an IFTA for Sampler with RTE. In 2018 Sinead was named as one of the top 10 European female filmmakers to watch by the European Film Promotion network and Sydney Film Festival.

At present Sinead is developing her first drama feature. She is also developing further documentary work on post conflict situations with the help of Screen Ireland and contributes to the Guardian and The New York Times.

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