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Belfast Girls
A film by Malin Andersson
Sweden/Ireland, 2006, 58 minutes, Color, DVD, Belfast English, Subtitled
Order No. W07920
BELFAST GIRLS is a quiet, powerful story of two young women growing up in a city where neighbors are cut off from each other by permanent concrete and corrugated iron screens. These so-called “peace walls” have also become mental walls, dividing one community from another. Living in different worlds within the same city, Mairéad Mc Ilkenny and Christine Savage share the legacy of 30 years of conflict in Northern Ireland. With insightful clarity, Swedish director Malin Andersson reveals how, in their daily struggles and triumphs, these two strong women have more in common with each other than they have differences.

For 20-year-old Catholic Mairéad, childhood memories of brutal arrests of her father at night and a constant fear for her life mix with wonderings what the “other side” looks like. She has never gotten to know a Protestant in her entire life – until the day her flatmate starts a new relationship. Suddenly “the other side” has moved into her house. Christine is Protestant and walks on the other side of the wall, dreaming about a house of her own and a boy to love. When she finally finds him, he’s a Catholic. Both girls find the courage to defy the legacy of separation handed down to them, creating a more hopeful future for themselves.


Prix Europa IRIS, Best Multicultural TV Program

  • One World Int’l Film Festival
  • Nordisk Panorama, Denmark
  • Uppsala Int’l Short Film Festival
  • Tempo Film Festival, Stockholm
  • Go Girls! at Symphony Space
  • St. John's International Women's Film Festival
  • Ladyfest, Chicago, IL

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    “Powerful. Highly recommended as a resource for discussions in European studies, gender studies, religious studies, and women’s studies.”
    Educational Media Reviews Online

    “Rarely have the ‘existential’ divisions within Northern Ireland been depicted with such stark cinematic candor.”
    Terri Ginsberg, PhD
    Co-Editor, “Perspectives on German Cinema”

    “Refreshingly oblique... Intelligent… Andersson achieves a startling intimacy with the characters…This is [a] genuine observational documentary.”
    Lucinda Broadbent

    “Strikes a chord for the new Northern Ireland, for the new generation that’s slowly moving away from almost a century of segregation.”
    Mats Weman
    Swedish Film

    “Intelligent and illuminating…”
    Joanne Hayden
    Irish Sunday Business Post

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us