The 8th

Dir: Aideen Kane, Lucy Kennedy, Maeve O'Boyle

Ireland / USA


94 mins




This triumphant documentary tells the story of Irish women and their fight to overturn one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the world, Ireland’s 1983 Eighth Amendment, in the 2018 referendum.

The 8th includes voices from both sides of the debate, but its primary focus is on the dynamic female leaders of the pro-choice campaign – in particular, veteran campaigner Ailbhe Smyth and self-described glitter-activist Andrea Horan – as they chart a bold strategy of grassroots activism, a radical shift in tactics after a 35-year struggle to try and bring an historically conservative electorate over the line. This dramatic story is underscored by a vivid exploration of the wrenching failures of the past that led to this defining moment, condensing decades of Irish history and delineating the patriarchal forces working to restrict a woman’s right to choose.

Documenting Ireland’s transformation from a conservative state in thrall to the Catholic church to a more liberal secular society, The 8th is part urgent narrative, part cautionary tale and part roadmap for progressive activism, at a time when global authoritarianism is on the rise and reproductive rights remain in threat around the world.

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Together Films


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