We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. View our Cookies Policy. Click Accept and continue to use our website or Manage to review and update your preferences.

Slow-burn Irish horror feature is gripping viewing
Carolyn Bracken and Hazel Doupe

17 Feb 2022 / film Print

A slow-burn Irish horror feature is gripping viewing

You Are Not My Mother is the debut feature from Irish director and screenwriter Kate Dolan, and it opens in cinemas on 4 March. 

The film features a standout performance from Hazel Doupe, as a schoolgirl grappling with her mother’s strange behaviour.

A rising aura of menace pervades the film, which courageously deals with the question of mental illness and its impact on family life. You Are Not My Mother fully probes the painful horror of being left unprotected and unloved by one’s parent.

Escalating mania 

Teenage Char must deal with her mother’s days escalating mania, and there is no sugar-coating the loneliness the young girl feels.

Angela (Carolyn Bracken) spends the day in bed, leaves the fridge empty, and drives erratically, while Char, parentless, faces tormenting bullies at school and in the neighbourhood. 

The film had its debut at the Midnight Madness selection at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 2021 and was named first runner-up for the People’s Choice Award.

Set on location in Dublin’s northside, with grey clouds and wintry scenes, You Are Not My Mother has a brooding quality, remarkable in a debut feature.


It touches on the supernatural, with an overlay of Irish folklore, and the subject of ‘changelings’, where Ingrid Craigie as grandmother Rita, brings a knowing quality. 

The sense of menace and foreboding remains throughout making for gripping viewing. In a slow burn, You Are Not My Mother unveils family secrets that lie on the cusp between this world and the ‘otherworld’.

At the upcoming Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTAs), You Are Not My Mother has been nominated in the following categories:
  • Best Film,
  • Best Director,
  • Best Script,
  • Best Original Music,
  • Best Leading Actress,
  • Best Cinematographer.

You Are Not My Mother opens in cinemas on Friday 4 March.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland