Community and Connection

Irene’s Ghost

Feature film raises awareness of postpartum psychosis through story of a son's loss

A film about a son’s loss of his mother, funded in part by the Maudsley Charity, was launched in cinemas on 3rd May 2019. The feature documentary tells the story of Iain Cunningham, who lost his mother at the age of three, and his journey to discover the story of her life and death.  

The film deals with his mother’s mental health difficulties after his birth, which was diagnosed as severe postpartum psychosis. Iain faced a confusing silence around her death when growing up, especially from his father, which reveals the stigma and lack of understanding of mental health in the 1970s. 

The film is told in part through animations, echoing a baby book he was given at the age of 18 with messages from his mother.  

Irene's Ghost
Irene's Ghost
Irene's Ghost

Best Feature Documentary

The film was awarded the Best Feature Documentary at thScottish Mental Health Arts Festival, where it was screened on 4th May 2019. It has received a plethora of positive four and five star reviews, with the Evening Standard calling it “a gem that stands out”. 

Distributed by Together Films, a marketing and distribution company focused on social issues, Irene’s Ghost was also supported by Creative England, Creative Scotland, BFI and the Wellcome Trust.  

Watch the trailer below, and visit the Irene’s Ghost website here