In a small Irish town during the 60’s, a young boy, Francie, experiences his mother being taken to a mental institution. He lives with his alcoholic father, but later when both h is parents pass away, Francie becomes an orphan. He has only one friend, Joe, but Joe deserts Francie and instead befriends Mrs. Nudget’s dorky son. Francie is now completely alone in the world. He hates the evil Mrs. Nudget and blames her for everything bad that happens to him. Francie is not the one who lets people push him down and his revenge against Mrs. Nudget becomes increasingly brutal.
The Butcher Boy takes place during the Cuba-crisis and is based on the auto-biographical novel by Patrick McCabe. Francie is a charming bad boy who after having been quite popular among the adults in the community, becomes an outcast, betrayed by all the inhabitants of the small town. He creates his own strategy of survival, but it does not correspond to the laws and the moral values of the community, and nobody takes into consideration the fact that he is just a child. Francie encounters alcoholism, pedophilia and is almost lobotomized. However, he manages to escape at the last moment. In dreamlike visions he, from time to time, sees the Virgin Mary, who is the only one who gives him comfort. Francie’s daydreams start to blend into his reality. Steven Rea, who has acted in several of Jordan’s films, portrays Francie as an adult and has a prominent role in the film as the narrator. He often has an ironic and bittersweet voice, which if possible makes the film even sadder than it already is. —Torun Bjurman
One of Ireland’s most celebrated directors, Neil Jordan has made his name directing moody, often politically charged films that focus largely on themes of love, betrayal, and the darker realms of the human psyche. Born February 25, 1950, in Sligo County, Ireland, Jordan began his career as an acclaimed fiction writer. He entered the film industry in 1981 as a script consultant on John Boorman’s Excalibur, and subsequently made a documentary about the making of the film. After scripting another film, Traveller, Jordan wrote and directed his first film, the stylish 1982 crime drama Angel. Starring Stephen Rea as a saxophone player who witnesses a series of brutal murders, it explored the darker, violent impulses of the human mind, a theme that Jordan would revisit time and again in his later films. After attracting his first wave of international recognition for In the Company of Wolves (1984), his horror-tinged retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood tale, Jordan had his first real success… read more