Irish film, Jim Sheridan, In America (Jim Sheridan, 2003), Death, Irish studies, Irish cinema, John Ford
This paper examines the recurring theme of death in Irish director Jim Sheridan’s work, with particular focus on his 2003 film In America. This theme also links Sheridan’s work to one of his favourite directors, John Ford, whose work In America alludes to. While exploring the theme of death in Sheridan’s films, and how it connects with the work of Ford, this paper will consider responses to In America, the first film to be (partly) shot in New York after the attack on the twin towers, in light of the tragedy of 9/11. It raises questions about the problematic positioning of this film by Sheridan and others not just with respect to the events of that day but also in relation to the 1981 hunger strikes in Northern Ireland. Furthermore, it questions the regressive politics involved in the depiction of the central black character in In America, Mateo, particularly as it relates to this theme of death.