• Philomena and Ireland’s Mother-and-baby Homes

    Author(s):
    Malin Lidström Brock (see profile)
    Date:
    2015
    Group(s):
    English Literature, Film Studies, Irish Literature and Culture
    Subject(s):
    Adaptation, Biography, Film and society, Irish culture, Irish history
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    Biopics, Irish-american identity, Irish mother-and-baby homes, Martin Sixsmith, Stephen Frears
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/jqa4-8k23
    Abstract:
    This chapter examines the portrayal of Ireland's mother-and-baby homes in Stephen Frear’s film Philomena (2013) and the biography on which the film is based, the British journalist Martin Sixsmith's account of Philomena Lee's life and search for her son, who was given up to an American couple for adoption under coercive circumstances. Enforced adoptions have long been a part of Irish life that was silenced within official discourse, just as the women themselves were silenced under a blanket of shame and denial within a form of patriarchal nationalism. Cultural representations, such as film and trauma biography, will of course tend towards certain structures of storytelling that re-veal in dramatic form the deep emotional wounds inflicted on the survivors, yet these accounts are often challenged by an official discourse as shallow and untrustworthy. This chapter explores the conflicts and paradoxes that emerge when attempts to give a voice to the silenced or marginalized are made in fictional form. For all their shortcomings, however, such efforts have begun a process of forcing a re-evaluation of Ireland's narratives of nationhood through the twentieth century
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    3 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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