Belfast Film Festival

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The Peacemaker

Directed by James Demo

peacemaker

The Peacemaker follows international peacemaker Padraig O’Malley, who helps make peace for others but struggles to find it for himself.

Director James Demo will be in attendance to discuss the film.

In the heart of the world’s most intractable conflicts, Padraig O’Malley brokers peace using unorthodox methods and dogged determination. With no formal training in conflict resolution, he convened Northern Ireland’s key peace conferences at the age of 33. His uncanny talent lies precisely where United Nations envoys and diplomats fail—gaining a person’s trust. Face to face with dogmatic leaders, O’Malley can get them to tell their stories.

For five years, filmmaker James Demo follows the peacemaker through crisis zones from Nigeria to Iraq, and discovers an even more fractious frontline—O’Malley’s personal life. The man who creates meaningful connections for a living returns home to an empty apartment.

A recovering alcoholic, O’Malley’s relationships with partners and an adopted daughter bear the scars of addiction to the bottle and work. Struggling against time, his demons and an exhausting career, can this formidable character find salvation for both the world and himself?

The first half chronicles O’Malley’s major accomplishments in exceptional form, and Demo gets a lot of background material and context by following his subject. Then, the second half of the film becomes something deeply personal and almost heartbreakingly poetic as O’Malley has to come to terms with his own failing health. TORONTO FILM SCENE

A deeply moving portrait of its truly admirable, complex subject HOLLYWOOD REPORTER