Irene's Ghost

And as Sunday evening approaches, the Festival is over and there's nothing left to do but tidy up the park and go home. Nothing? No not quite nothing, as the Broadway continues to provide support for local artists with a once only screening of Irene's Ghost, a touching, insightful documentary about a son's search to find about the mother he never knew, written and directed by local film-maker, Iain Cunningham.

As a child in the Midlands, Iain knew only that she had fallen into a coma from which she never woke. His father married again and family closed ranks: not quite a secret, but Iain's mother, Irene was never spoken of. The first time Iain saw an image of Irene was when he came across a photograph of her, when he was 18.

Yet staying silent and erasing a memory are two very different things. Irene's absence...Irene's Ghost became the hole that defined his teenage life as he imagined her presence everywhere: in the dandelions he gave chase to or even the cat crossing the road.

In the end, Iain decides to fill in the blanks. He advertised in local newspapers and set off on a journey whose travelling, in the end, proved every bit as important as the arriving.

Irene's Ghost documents that journey...a series of interviews with his mother’s friends and family, tracked down from the pages of her wedding album. Warm, touching, funny interviews culminating on a question and a moment of resolution in the relationship between Iain and his father.

The truth, it turns out is not quite what Iain was told as a young boy. His mother's death, tragic then, might have been avoided today. But if you want to know how, then - no spoilers! - you'll have to go and watch the film.

And of course: one last advantage of going to see a film made by a Letchworth Director in a Letchworth cinema: the evening kicks off with a Q&A session with director Iain Cunningham and Creative Programmer Kevin Parker. That's two items of entertainment for the price of one.

See you there!