Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands


The compelling story of a woman who has lost her son and develops an unorthodox relationship with a homeless youth. Their tentative trust is threatened by his involvement with a violent gang and the escalation of her ex-husband's grieving rage.

Director's Statement

started this film with the idea of exploring an alternative kind of mother, the one who leaves, the one who doesn’t know how to mother. It troubles me that women are typically more harshly judged than men in relation to how they parent or don’t parent their children. This is complex and tied up in a view of the mother as more essential to a child’s development but the result is that her identity is automatically more subsumed by becoming a parent than is the case for men. I wanted to see what the audience could feel about this woman who chose to leave her child, not for any great ambition but just because she couldn’t, or didn’t know how to, live the life of mother and wife. Margaret’s choice to leave underpins her reaction to Patrick’s death and her attempt to mother Joe. If she felt she had the right to grieve her own son it’s unlikely that she would seek out a substitute. But while this is still an element of the film, what emerged finally is a complicated love story: the story of a woman who tries to love her son too late and the complex relationship she forms with a surrogate.

Director's Biography

Rebecca Daly studied theatre directing and acting and then went on to study film. Her first short, JOYRIDERS (2006), won the Irish Film Award and several international awards. Her short film HUM was funded as one of the finalists for the Berlin Today Award 2010. Her first feature film, THE OTHER SIDE OF SLEEP, was selected for the Cannes 'Cinéfondation Résidence du Festival' programme. It premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival and in the Discovery section of the Toronto IFF 2011. Rebecca was selected to participate in the first Berlinale Residency with her second feature film MAMMAL. She is currently in development on the feature project GOOD FAVOUR.

2010 - HUM, short
2006 - JOYRIDERS, short

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Rebecca Daly

Written by: Rebecca Daly

Produced by: Macdara Kelleher, Conor Barry

Cinematography: Lennart Verstagen

Editing: Halina Daugird

Production Design: Audrey Hernu

Costume Design: Uli Simon

Make-Up & Hair: Gerda Koekoek, Fabienne Adam

Original Score: Rutger Reinders

Sound Design: Marco Vermaas

Cast: Rachel Griffiths (Margaret), Barry Keoghan (Joe), Michael McElhatton (Matt)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2016