Free Irish film series offered at Wake Forest

This fall, Wake Forest University’s women’s and gender studies program is sponsoring an Irish Film Series. The films, which are free and open to the public, are shown in Pugh Auditorium in Benson University Center.

Sept. 15: “December Bride,” 8 p.m.
A 1990 Thaddeus O’Sullivan film based on the novel of the same title by Sam Hanna Bell, “December Bride” is a combination of passion and politics. Set in 20th-century Ireland, a young servant, Sarah, goes to work as a housekeeper for two brothers, Hamilton and Frank. Eventually, she falls in love with both of them. When she becomes pregnant, she refuses to reveal the father’s identity and refuses to cave in to convention.

Sept. 29: “Magdalene Sisters,” 8 p.m.
Written by Peter Mullan, this 2002 film looks at Roman Catholic repression in 1960s Ireland, especially among convent laundries, where women who were pregnant, raped or fiercely independent were placed to correct their “sinful” behavior. The film follows four women — Crispina and Rose, who have given birth to children out of wedlock, Margaret, who was raped by her cousin, and Bernadette, an orphan who has been repeatedly caught flirting with the boys.

Oct. 13: “Nora,” 8:30 p.m.
The film is based on Brenda Maddox’s 1988 biography of Nora Barnacle, the wife of James Joyce. “Nora” is a feminist, postmodern critique of the ethics and aesthetics of modernism. The story follows the famous literary lovers as they flee Dublin for Italy, hoping to find freedom from claustrophobic Irish city life.

Nov. 17: “Dancing at Lughnasa,” 7 p.m.
Set in 1936 in a small town in Donegal, Ireland, the story explores the relationships between the five unmarried Bundy sisters, their older brother, Jack, and the eight-year-old son of one of the sisters. The film focuses on the family hierarchy, the sisters’ personalities and how they cope with Ireland’s failing economy, Jack’s paganistic rituals, and the sexual proprieties of the day. The film stars Meryl Streep, Kathy Burke, Brid Brennan, Sophie Thompson and Catherine McCormack.

Dec. 1: “The Crying Game,” 7 p.m.
The film follows the story of Jody, a British soldier, who is kidnapped by IRA terrorists at a carnival in Ireland. Jody befriends one of his captors, who is drawn into the soldier’s world. For more information, contact Wanda Balzano at or 336-758-4468.

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