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average rating is 4 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Oct 28, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Diarmuid Donohoe
Written by:
Diarmuid Donohoe
Emma Dargan-Reid, Lacy Moore, Brian Fortune, Liam Bixby

In 1950's Ireland, a young woman is committed to a mental health hospital by her cruel father.


This short begins with a quote by Dominican-American writer Junot Diaz, that describes trauma as a time treveller, which is rather appropriate considering the themes and the way the non-linear narrative is structured. Beginning with main character Moira (Dargan-Reid) enjoying peace and quiet by a lake with her partner (Bixby), she suddenly remembers that she should be attending church and dashes of, leaving her shoes behind. She arrives at church, endures her parents' harsh chastising due to her tardiness and lack of shoes and from there, the screenplay turns into a nightmarish labyrinth that moves through time, with Moira frantically running through corridors of the hospital that she was in (and perhaps still is in) and every now and then encountering scenes (quite upsetting ones too) of events that led to her unwilling arrival at the psychiatric hospital.


The film's story is structured in a way that places the viewers into her distressed and confused mind, making them experience her emotions of despair and torment through a harrowing journey that keeps moving back and forth in time. What is discovered is that Moira suffered a great deal. She was raised in a strictly religious family and was send to a behavioral health hospital by her father (Fortune), where she deteriorated. However, her mother (Moore) was against that idea. Her father is portrayed as the antagonist, an aggressive, cold and stubborn man. Moira may not appear to have a purpose as she navigates a maze of memories, however one could argue that her goal is to escape, to flee her terrible past and find solace.


The film's dark atmosphere is supported by DIE HEXEN'S tense and haunting score and by Narayan Van Maele's cinematography. John Walters also deserves commendations for the creative editing.


Through a mid-twentieth-century Ireland setting, this short heavy drama tells a story about a young woman's terrible and unjust suffering. It is an unpleasant viewing, but also a memorable one, one that explores mental health, trauma, religion, cruelty and bad parenting and Dargan-Reid's powerful performance adds massive value.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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