Thursday, 22 October 2015

Week 39: The Queen of Ireland

Director: Conor Horgan
Writers: Conor Horgan/Philip McMahon
Seen: 21st October 2015
Venue: IMC Galway
Snacks: M&M's 
Mood: Elated
MI+Panti+bliss+yes+vote+dublin+castle+equality+marriage.jpg (650×488)

The 23rd of May 2015 was an historic day for Ireland as it became the first country ever to vote yes to legalise same sex marriage via public referendum. I remember the day well (and always will).The spirit of love and elation in the air was palpable whilst a double rainbow hung joyously above the streets of Dublin.
The Queen of Ireland brings all the emotion flooding back along with a lot of hearty laughs that come from the wicked sense of humour of Miss Panti Bliss. This documentary follows Irelands most famous drag queen Panti  AKA Rory O’Neil on the run up to this historical vote. We get to meet both of these equally endearing and fabulous personas from the very beginning.
Rory grew up in sleepy Ballinrobe in County Mayo where he had a pretty standard Irish upbringing until around the age of 12 when he started to feel different and out of place. He went to art college in Dublin and found his feet in the underground gay scene, then to Tokyo where Panti was born, finally returning to Ireland in the mid 90’s when same sex relationships were at long last made legal – a date that continues to shock as it is so recent. This documentary really hits home how far Ireland has come since 1993, when same sex relationships were decriminalized to only 22 years later to the same sex marriage referendum, this is something Ireland can be extremely proud of.
The documentary follows Panti’s infamous legal battle with RTE in 2014 and what followed in the aftermath of her truly moving and heartfelt ‘Noble Call’ speech on 1st February 2014 in the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. The speech has so far amassed well over 700,000 views, was retweeted by various celebs including Stephen Fry and Graham Norton and was described by Fintan O’Toole as ‘the most eloquent Irish speech in almost 200 years’…….basically if you haven’t seen it , do so now!
What more can I say here this doc is full of laughs, glee and just makes you want to burst with pride when recalling that amazing and historical day. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and wonder at the fabulosity of the queen of Ireland – Miss Panti Bliss.

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