The Irish Arts Center presents Irish Literature on Film, an opportunity to see some of Ireland's best loved novels and plays in their cinematic format.
Adapted from the novel by Pat McCabe with a Screenplay by Pat McCabe and Neil Jordan The Butcher Boy is a darkly comic drama, set in Co. Monaghan in the early 1960's, Francie (Eamonn Owens) and Joe live the usual playful, fantasy filled childhoods of normal boys. However, with a violent, alcoholic father (Stephen Rea) and a manic depressive, suicidal mother, the pressure on Francie to grow up are immense. When his mother eventually commits suicide and Joe goes off to boarding school, Francie sinks ever deeper into paranoia, directed mainly against a nasty neighbor Mrs. Nugent (Fiona Shaw), and fantasy where he has visions of the Virgin Mary (Sinéad O'Connor). After his father dies Francie's condition worsens, his behavior becomes more bizarre and erratic culminating in the extremely bloody murder of Mrs. Nugent, whom he holds responsible for all the wrongs visited upon him. The authorities arrest Francie and commit him to an asylum in an attempt to cure him.
In this hilarious and unsettling film, a long-term psychiatric patient tells the grim story of his early life, his mother's suicide, his father's alcoholism and his own torments at the hands of cruel neighbors. Directed by Neil Jordan. (106 mins)