Archives / 2012 Sundance Film Festival

Shadow Dancer

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Director: James Marsh

Screenwriters: Tom Bradby

Institute History

  • 2012 Sundance Film Festival

Description

Growing up in a Republican family in 1970s Belfast, Collette McVeigh’s childhood is shattered, and her family radicalized, when her brother is killed. Twenty years later—a single mother with her own young son—Collette is active in the IRA, along with her two surviving brothers.

During an aborted bomb attempt in London, Collette falls into the hands of an MI5 officer, Mac, who offers her a deal: turn informant or go to prison. Fearing for her son’s welfare, she returns to Belfast where—betraying family and beliefs—she becomes a reluctant mole for British intelligence. As suspicion of Collette mounts and Mac takes increasing risks to protect her, both feel the net closing in.

A thriller with an ever-thickening plot, Shadow Dancer is a riveting portrait of shifting convictions and entangled loyalties. Director James Marsh—working at the top of his craft with actors Clive Owen and Andrea Riseborough—deftly maintains their intense and fascinating connection while exploring the complex relationship between politics and personal motivations during troubled times in Northern Ireland.

— J.N.

Screening Details

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