A White Horse

Being gay in Ireland seems to be coming up in films of late. A topic which is preoccupying filmmakers there.

This one tells the story of a young Irish woman, wearing a johnny shirt, in a telephone box calling home. She is talking with her mom, who seems really worried about her and where she is.

As the conversation goes on we find out that Bridget (Amber Deasy – first film) has escaped from the mental hospital she was in. Her mother (Cora Fenton – The Young Offenders) is keeping her on the phone, with Bridget’s father (Jack Healy – The Young Offenders) lurking over her shoulder, in order to get Bridget to tell her where she is.

Instead, Bridget wants her mom to agree to her coming home and for the family to take a trip to the seaside together. Which her mother pacifies her by agreeing to…though we know she is lying.

The more they talk the more we find out. Bridget was put in the mental hospital because she had a romantic relationship with another young girl. Someone from her school.

The short, directed by Shaun O’Connor, is set sometime in the 1970s. A time when gay people in Ireland were thought of as having something wrong with them. So they were often admitted (against their wills) in mental institution in a form of conversion therapy. As horrible as this might seem to most, conversion therapy is still legal in the U.K. and Ireland.

Director O’Connor is developing this excellent, tension filled short into a television series with writer Paul Cahill.

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