SCREENING with director TREASA O’BRIEN in discussion on 4 MAY 2017 in WEST CORK ARTS CENTRE
‘Eat Your Children is a tremendously timely and provocative film which explores traditions of resistance in Ireland. It is the personal and political response of two economic emigrants, Treasa O’Brien and Mary Jane O’Leary, to the climate of complacency and acceptance of austerity which they perceived upon their return home.
A road-trip takes them around the country meeting the engaged and disengaged – students, politicians, economists and activists – as they try to understand Ireland’s post-colonial identity crisis in the wake of the ‘Celtic Tiger’. At a time when Irish people are re-discovering the power of mass protest, here is a film which captures that energy. ‘
– Sunniva O’Flynn, Director of Irish Film Institute
‘Friends and filmmakers Treasa O’Brien and Mary Jane O’Leary were among the many Irish who emigrated following the catastrophic financial crash of 2008. Now they’re home – and curious to know why as a nation the Irish have an apathy, or even an antipathy, towards protest.
O’Brien and O’Leary take their cameras on a road trip across Ireland, confidently blending archival footage, stylish visual essay and interviews in a bid to unravel why, compared to our European neighbours, we seem so accepting of debt and austerity. There are strong insights from sociologists, from protesters, but from everyday people too, as the filmmakers hear the views of concertgoers and GAA fans. The title is inspired, a reference to Jonathan Swift’s satire, A Modest Proposal, in which poor families sell their youngest children to wealthy landlords. The implication? By acquiescing to the banks, the bondholders and the bean-counters, the Irish are selling out generations to come.
It’s a smart, rousing film about the public right to express righteous anger. And in a year where the power of dissent has come to the fore, it is absolutely timely.’
– Esther McCarthy, Jameson Dublin International Film Festival