Statistic – Trish McAdam Filmmaker Playlist
Our second IFI Filmmaker Playlist is curated by filmmaker and visual artist Trish McAdam. Since the production of her early shorts in the 1980s, Trish has created a vibrant and varied body of work, embracing a range of forms and subjects and retaining a singular, independent voice. We’re delighted to welcome Trish to the Irish Film Institute to select her top picks from films preserved in the IFI Irish Film Archive and presented on the IFI Archive Player. To view the other selections from Trish’s Filmmaker Playlist, click here.
‘Who needs a pregnant waitress?’ is just one of the questions that fills Ellie Connolly’s mind when she discovers she is pregnant in 1980s Ireland.
Statistic was made by film student Alison Kelly in 1983, the year which saw the passing of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution Act (which effectively criminalised abortion in most circumstances). Ellie (Edel McCrann) is pregnant as “the result of a drunken screw between two people who hardly knew each other”. She broods in her flat and discusses her predicament with her good friend Anne – she must tell her boyfriend Paul but she knows ’In the end it’s inside me, not him’. She finds information in a magazine about abortion services in the UK and Anne accompanies her to the ferry – following the footsteps of the many women before her.
Statistic is invaluable as a contemporaneous response to events in 1983 – the film includes newspaper headlines and filmed sequences of pro and anti-abortion marches and dramatizes the plight of a young woman dealing with a crisis pregnancy. It is also a vivid record of the sights and sounds of Dublin in the 1980s - not least in the colourful cameos from mime artist Raymond Keane and indie band The Cuba Dares.
This film is part of F-Rated: Short Films by Irish Women. To view more from the collection click here.