Still from Irene's Ghost, with a bride dressed in a white gown and veil, holding a pink and white bouqet and standing in front of a stone wall

Irene’s Ghost

Rendezvous With Madness / Workman Arts

Closing Night Film
Irene’s Ghost is a stunning 6-years-in-the-making documentary that follows a son’s search to find out about the mother he never knew. Cunningham breaks the silence and tracks down his mother’s friends and family to rebuild a picture of her. Cunningham was three when his Mother Irene died. His Father never spoke of it and the family’s silence around Irene meant that she was alive only in Cunningham’s imagination as a thistle seed or in the image of the moon. The birth of his own child inspires a journey to discover the truth about Irene, piecing together fragments of the past to make sense of the present. Utilizing gorgeous animation alongside moving archival footage, Irene’s Ghost lovingly rebuilds Irene’s lost life.

Screening with
Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days
Regina Pessoa’s latest animation beautifully illustrates her childhood memories of her charming and idiosyncratic uncle. This film is a testament of Pessoa’s love and admiration for her uncle’s unique spirit.


How does talking about (or not talking about) post-partum depression and post-partum psychosis impact women and families? After the screening of Irene’s Ghost, we will explore the complicated layers of how post-partum disorders are understood and felt personally as well as culturally through first hand experiences from women and professionals in discussion with the filmmaker.

Paula John, Moderator
Iain Cunningham, Director
Rimsha, Panelist
Wendy Porch, ED at Centre for Independent Living Toronto