27 January 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network

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Anne Devlin
Feature 124
YEAR: 1983
DIRECTOR: Pat Murphy    
WRITER: Pat Murphy      
PRODUCER: Robert Boyle         
CAST: Brid Brennan    Bosco Hogan    Des McAleer    Gillian Hackett    David Kelly    Pat Leahy  
LOCATION: Roscommon,Dublin
EDITOR: Arthur Keating      
DOP: Thaddeus O'Sullivan      

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Anne Devlin is one member of a republican family who played a strong part in the 1798 rebellion and the years that followed it. The film charts these years and her life working for Robert Emmet and in Kilmainham Jail. On her way to visit her father in jail she is questioned about her cousin Michael Dwyer, a rebel leader, who is suspected of killing a rent collector. Anne continues to visit her father and urges him to seek a release or a trial. At his trial he is released after the police informer is discredited.

The family moves to Dublin and Robert Emmet asks them for help as he plans the next rebellion. He needs one of the family to pretend to work in his house as a housekeeper. Anne agrees to do this but soon finds that some of those involved in the rising treat her as a servant and that the social class tensions between groups is strong. The rebellion fails and the republicans are captured.

Anne is maltreated by English soldiers and eventually sent to Kilmainham jail. She refuses to talk about anything she knows of the conspirators or the rebellion, and is kept in solitary confinement. Eventually she meets with her eight year old brother who is also in the prison and suffering from TB. He dies in her arms. Anne is eventually released in 1806, two years after an amnesty had been declared for State prisoners in Ireland.

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