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UK Premiere of “Violet Gibson: The Irish Woman Who Shot Mussolini”. Followed by a Q&A with Film Director Barrie Dowdall.
The UK Premiere of this Fascinating Docu-Drama
In 1926, Irish aristocrat Violet Gibson, shot Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. She came the closest to success of the four assassination attempts on Mussolini, yet, she was written off as a lone “mad Irishwoman”, committed to a lunatic asylum, and effectively written out of history.
With Olwen Fouéré in the title role, this docu-drama looks at how Gibson almost changed the course of history and the enormous personal price she paid.
Based on the Radio Documentary by Siobhán Lynam and inspired by the book “The Woman Who Shot Mussolini” by Frances Stonor Saunders. Narrated by Kate O’Toole.
Commissioned by TG4. Produced by Barrie Dowdall and Siobhán Lynam.
The Screening will be followed by a Q&A with Barrie Dowdall and Siobhán Lynam.
Following 18 months of imprisonment and interrogation in Italy, and investigations into an international conspiracy, a deal was brokered by Mussolini and the British Foreign Office to have her declared insane and locked up in a British lunatic asylum for the rest of her life.
For 30 years, she battled for her release, writing letters to the authorities, politicians, friends, to Churchill after Italy declared war on Britain, to Princess Elizabeth. Her letters were never posted. In 1956, she died alone in the asylum, no friends or family attended her funeral.
Passed off as a “mad Irishwoman”, a “demented spinster”, a “crazy Irish mystic” this revelatory documentary brings the fascinating story to light, of the bold, free-thinking daughter of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, who rejected the trappings of her Anglo-Irish upbringing, and committed herself to social justice, anti-war activism, and opposition to fascism.
95 years after the assassination attempt, Dublin City Council’s decision to erect a commemorative plaque honouring Violet Gibson has generated worldwide interest in this truly captivating story of Violet Gibson – The Irish Woman Who Shot Mussolini.
This UK Premiere Screening, starring Ireland’s great actress Olwen Fouéré as Violet Gibson, will be followed by a Q&A with the Film’s Director / Producer Barrie Dowdall and Co-Producer Siobhan Lynam.
THE DIRECTOR – BARRIE DOWDALL
Award-winning filmmaker Barrie Dowdall has a long association with the moving image thanks to his father who had a Super 8mm camera; his mother was an actor and worked with Micheál Mac Liammóir and Hilton Edwards. His sister Leslie Dowdall is a well know singer/songwriter.
Barrie specializes in producing, directing and shooting documentaries of historical, human and social interest for broadcasters worldwide. Titles amongst others include: The Long Road (An Bóthar Fada), Afghanistan – After The War, Ned Kelly, Exile in Hell, Banished Women (Mná Díbeartha), and Violet Gibson.
His companies Ned Kelly Pictures e Telwell Productions are based in Dublin and provide a wide range of services for TV projects for the home and international market.
Regular Jury Member of the IFTA Awards, Barrie Dowdall lectures in Film Studies at Champlain College Dublin.