Belfast Girls

A film by Malin Andersson

Sweden/Ireland | 2006 | 58 minutes | Color | DVD | Belfast English | Subtitled | Order No. 07920


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.


“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 Dox

“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


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


Malin Andersson

Documentary film director and photographer Malin Andersson splits her time between Ireland and Sweden and works both nationally and internationally, pitching and filming/directing her own creative documentaries as well as collaborating with international documentary producers. She works through her company Solas Productions in Newry as well as her Swedish company, Malin Andersson Film, based in Malmo. Andersson also acts as a member of EDN, on the advisory board for Film Kontakt Nord and as vice chairwoman of the Independent Filmmakers Association in Sweden. Her debut film BELFAST GIRLS has won numerous nominations and awards and has been broadcast by 13 broadcasting companies around the world. Andersson is passionate about mentoring and tutoring and initiating workshops for teenagers in documentary filmmaking. (01/20)


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