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Women & Cinema Day, Film@CultureLab, #IWD2017

At the end of February, I resigned from my lecturing post at University of Salford where my job and life had been made impossible largely by two senior women colleagues. In early March, I moved back to Newcastle upon Tyne, a city which has become home since I moved there from Belfast in August 2014. In a later post, I will reflect on my academic experiences and how my fraught relationship with the academy – but not research – has come to an end. For now, I am focusing on recovery and looking onwards. Spending International Women’s Day (8th March) in a positive, safe and supportive space celebrating women and cinema was an ideal beginning to the healing process.

The life is in the eyes: viewing A Monster Calls (dir. J. A. Bayona, 2016)

Shadow Dancer

*DISCLAIMER: I am writing about the film with an approach to critical analysis with only a hint of review, therefore there are spoilers within if you have not seen the film. This post serves as a line of thought that I am archiving for later development.*
It appears that reviews of Shadow Dancer (Marsh, 2012) have not been entirely complimentary, as far as I am aware (I am deliberately avoiding them so feel free to correct me), and seem largely to have been written by men. The film is much more than critics and general commenters deem it to be (e.g. one I came across stated that this is yet another Troubles film making the IRA out to be scum). Shadow Dancer does not attempt to depict the Northern Ireland conflict through a microcosmic narrative, rather it draws out a suppressed individual struggle within patriarchal organizations, and in doing so attempts to reflect the hidden lives many were forced to lead.
The most striking aspect of Shadow Dancer for me is its evocation of the di…