Deargdhúil: Anatomy of Passion Poems of Máire Mhac an tSaoi




“…a poignantly beautiful and revealing documentary.” The Irish Times

Nominated for a Golden Torc at the Celtic Media Awards 2016

15th March, 9.30pm on TG4

This riveting new documentary explores the life, work and sensual poetic imagination of the poet Máire Mhac an tSaoi. She helped revolutionise Irish poetry by drawing on a native tradition to express a passionate sensibility and taboo emotions, at a time when women’s voices were on the margins of literature and society.

Born in 1922, her story is set against a backdrop of a tumultuous century in Irish history in which she and her family (her father Seán MacEntee, her husband Conor Cruise O’Brien) were centrally involved. It is told from an intimate perspective through dramatic representations of a sequence of poems re-imagined and choreographed as short films intercut with rare footage and the poet’s own commentary on her life and work. The occasionally provocative treatment of her poems highlights the tension between the public persona of a powerful public figure and the exploration of female sexuality at the heart of her poetry.

Deargdhúil: Anatomy of Passion incorporates luminous 16mm home movies taken by Máire’s father, Seán MacEntee in the 1930s and 40s, which have never been seen before by the public.

Featuring performance artist Maureen Fleming (photo attached), Louis de Paor, Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Olwen Fouéré.


Director & Producer: Paula Kehoe, Writers: Paula Kehoe & Louis de Paor

Preview Clips:

Media inquiries: or 0876163585


Twitter: @deargdhuil                            



TG4 &The Arts Council, Splanc!