AFTER THE DANCE || 2015, Ireland || Documentary || Directed by – Daisy Asquith / Running time: 77 mins.
After the Dance is a personal documentary in which filmmaker Daisy Asquith sets off in search of the natural father of her own mother, who was born out of wedlock in County Clare. Such a thing would have been seen as scandalous in Ireland at the time, therefore her life was essentially saved by a Catholic couple from England who adopted and raised her.
The investigation is brought to the screen in all its energetic impulsiveness, remaining true to the surprises which the journey unfolded as production went on. This also means that Asquith does not refrain from revealing her own struggles in working on the film due to the opposition that she was receiving from most of the members of her “Irish family”, who thought the subject too delicate.
This aspect is another great representation of one of the things that the film is commendable for. After the Dance is indeed quite a delicate and entertaining documentary about a woman satifying her curiosity of discovering her heritage, which also take her to the encounter with her long lost cousins, a couple from County Clare who live a very simple farming lifestyle and whom she even takes to the US with her in what is a standout sequence in the documentary. But it is also, through this personal story, an examination of the strict moral code in Ireland around the forties and the fifties, strongly dictated by the Catholic Church that had an iron clad grip on Irish people at the time, which Asquith takes the time to reveal along with the repercussions and the signs of its existance that appear on the Emerald Isle to this day, particularly among the people of older generations. – 4/5