Liam (film)

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Liam -- movie poster.jpg
Directed byStephen Frears
Produced byColin McKeown
Martin Tempia
Written byJimmy McGovern
StarringIan Hart
Claire Hackett
Anne Reid
Anthony Borrows
Megan Burns
Music byJohn Murphy
CinematographyAndrew Dunn
Edited byKristina Hetherington
Distributed byLionsgate
Release date
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited States
United Kingdom
Box office$1,945,689[1]

Liam is a 2000 British-German film directed by Stephen Frears and written by novelist/screenwriter Jimmy McGovern. McGovern (perhaps best known as the creator of British TV crime drama Cracker) adapted Joseph Mckeown's novel Back Crack Boy into this emotionally raw meditation on innocence and pain. Frears in turn was influenced by James Joyce's accounts of his stern childhood in late 19th century Catholic Dublin.

Megan Burns won the Marcello Mastroianni Award at the 57th Venice International Film Festival for her performance.


Set in Liverpool in the Great Depression of the 1930s, the story is told through the eyes of Liam Sullivan. Liam is taking religious instruction lessons in preparation for his First Communion. His mother is a staunch Roman Catholic. His father loses his job when the shipyard he works for closes. Meanwhile, his sister, Teresa, has taken a job as maid for the wealthy Jewish family who own the shipyard.

Liam stutters badly under stress, and his strict religious education does not help. The Jewish lady of the house that Teresa works for is having an affair, and the girl becomes an accomplice. Liam's father joins a group of fascists, who rail against rich Jews and cheap Irish labour. His brother secretly attends meetings with socialists. But all this is just a microcosm of a more general breakdown.

Life becomes increasingly more insecure and people retreat ever more desperately into their own belief systems. This only leads to increasing conflict, leading inexorably to a single violent act[clarification needed].



  1. ^ "Liam (2001)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 9 October 2011.

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