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American premier of Deargdhúil: Anatomy of Passion. Poems of Máire Mhac an tSaoi (2015)

Runtime: 60 mins

This riveting new documentary explores the life, work and sensual poetic imagination of the poet Máire Mhac an tSaoi. She helped revolutionise Irish poetry by drawing on a native tradition to express a passionate sensibility and taboo emotions, at a time when women’s voices were on the margins of literature and society.



Born in 1922, her story is set against a backdrop of a tumultuous century in Irish history in which she and her family (her father Seán MacEntee, her husband Conor Cruise O’Brien) were centrally involved.  It is told from an intimate perspective through dramatic representations of a sequence of poems re-imagined and choreographed as short films intercut with rare footage and the poet’s own commentary on her life and work. The occasionally provocative treatment of her poems highlights the tension between the public persona of a powerful public figure and the exploration of female sexuality at the heart of her poetry.

Featuring performance artist Maureen Fleming, Louis de Paor, Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Olwen Fouéré.

Director:  Paula Kehoe



“A poignantly beautiful and revealing documentary..”

The Irish Times

“It’s rare that a film about the arts is as seductive and beautiful as its subject,
but that is the only way to describe Deargdhúil.”

The Irish News

“Five of the best Irish films you need to see this year”

The Irish Post