VIVA MARY Close Caption

Wed 12 July | 11:00 | Pálás Screen 1

2023 | Ireland | 52’ | Documentary

Mary is 90 and is blessed with an unquenchable zest for life. Her story is a kaleidoscope of fascinating subjects: feminism, emigration, art, education, and sailing the high seas. All made flesh in the life of one remarkable woman. Growing up in Connemara in the 1930s, she witnessed both great poverty and the subjugation of women. Her father, the renowned painter Charles Lamb, instilled his daughter with a deep love for art and the west of Ireland. A love she carried with her all her life. Emigrating to England at the end of the war, she dedicated her life to educating disabled children, at a time when it was shunned upon professionally. Never one to take the mundane road, she spent decades sailing the Mediterranean solo, as a pensioner.

This feel-good film reveals her myriad of roles; the dotting grandmother, the inspirational mother, the caring friend, the coquettish singleton, the sailor on the high seas, the consummate musician, the proud emigrant and the hilarious seanchaí. In her own affable way, Mary brings us to the diverse locations that encompass her life’s voyage. From the small west of Ireland village of An Cheathrú Rua to the serene Spanish coastal town of Sitges, and from the heaving streets of London to the genteel English town of Worthing. The result is a series of remarkable, poignant, and funny conversations in which she opens up about her life, passions and fears.

This is an eloquent portrait of a strong woman, and an equally poignant portrait of the changing place of women in Ireland. After hearing her story, you will say, ‘I could be more like her. I should be more like her.’ 

World Premiere | Post Show discussion will follow

Director/Writer/Producer: Cathal Ó Cuaig

Principal funder