October 4, 2023
Harkin’s insightful and heartfelt documentary STOLEN will be released in cinemas on Friday 3rd November. The trailer of the critically acclaimed film which explores mother and baby institutions in Ireland has been launched today.
The documentary, which premiered at the Dublin International Film Festival and screened at DOCS Ireland earlier this year, tells the story of several mother and baby homes survivors. Revealing details of their treatment in a scandal that sparked a government inquiry, STOLEN gives a voice to those silenced for far too long.
Over 80,000 unmarried mothers were incarcerated in mother and baby institutions run by religious orders in Ireland from 1922 to 1998 during which time 9,000 babies are believed to have died. Separated from their birth mothers with policies of adoption, fostering and trafficking, many children were rendered untraceable and unaware of their birth story.
Featuring interviews with journalists, historians, politicians and campaigners the film provides an understanding of how the mother and baby home system operated, the bigger societal issues including the heavy influence of the Catholic Church that allowed these events to happen and the continuing impact on so many people’s lives today.
Speaking about the film’s release, director Margo Harkin said: “The people in this film are all warriors. They have fought for justice most of their lives and their stories are only the tip of the iceberg. I hope people will listen to them with open hearts”.
A founding member of Derry Film & Video and known for her drama Hush-a-Bye Baby and the documentary Bloody Sunday: A Derry Diary, Harkin hopes that STOLEN will add to the growing public awareness of the reality of life in mother and baby institutions, the ongoing impact of family separation and people’s struggles over decades to get access to their records.
STOLEN is a co-production between Harkin’s company Besom Productions (based in Derry) and Wildfire Films (based in Dublin) in association with Screen Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen, BAI and RTE. Martha O’Neill produced with Rory Lorton as associate producer.
Watch the trailer https://youtu.be/_CXFktXhofw?si=fEhXIqT6XdAZD7I0