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Irene's Ghost

Inspired by the birth of his own daughter, IRENE'S GHOST director, Iain Cunningham sets out to discover what happened to his mother Irene, who died when he was three years old, and who has remained a mystery to him all these years.

There seemed to be a lot of confusion around Irene’s death, and no one in his family spoke much about it. At age 18, Iain’s dad gave him a box of Irene’s belongings, and Iain was shocked to discover that among jewellery, trinkets and photographs, was his baby book which had some strange scribblings in the front-cover.

The layers of silence around Irene’s death were so tightly bound, that it took Iain decades to broach the subject with his father. But as he encountered long-lost relatives and friends of Irene, he got to know her through their stories and began to piece together the fragments of her life.

'Irene’s Ghost' follows director Iain Cunningham’s personal journey of discovery about who his mother was. Mixing animation with filmed footage, this feature documentary movingly rebuilds a lost life, and opens up important conversations around postpartum psychosis, mental illness, grief, family and friendship.


BBFC Advice: Contains mild bad language, references to mental illness.


Film Information

Running Time: 1hr 21mins

BBFC Advice: PG

Director(s): Iain Cunningham

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Year of release:

Language(s): English

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