The Queen of Ireland ★★★★

Look, this is a bit of a problematic film. It implies that Panti/Rory single-handedly brought about major constitutional change in Ireland and this is wrong and unfair to the hundreds of people who have been campaigning for years. But at the same time, it's a biopic of a central figure in the movement for marriage equality and it's a nice, easy to digest narrative, so maybe it's okay to let the film away with it? I dunno, I'm definitely torn on this one.

One thing I'll say though is how unexpectedly emotional I found it. I'm an Irish man of a certain vintage so, for me, watching Reeling in the Years and seeing Packie Bonner save the penalty in Italia 90 and the clips of the Irish football team coming home and the scenes of national pride will always, always make me cry.

Watching Queen of Ireland and watching the lead up to, and then the fallout of the marriage equality referendum, and seeing the scenes of, again, national pride, hit me in the exact same emotional weak spot. And I didn't really understand it.

At the screening, there was a q&a with Rory where he talked what it was so special about the referendum. He said he expected that after the referendum passed that life in Ireland would be exactly the same except gay people would be able to get married. But that's not what happened. For Irish people, life changed more dramatically because we saw ourselves differently. We saw ourselves as more powerful, capable of changing things that felt impossible.

And that's exactly it.