Lyra McKee in a scene from Alison Millar’s documentary about the young journalist’s life and work.

Feature Documentary Portrays Fearless Irish Journalist / Activist

The Troubles, a dark and bloody chapter in Northern Ireland’s history, ended 25 years ago when the Good Friday Agreement was signed. But the violence has continued. The young journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead during violence in Londonderry in April 2019. Lyra became a symbol for the generation that grew up after the peace agreement.

Through Lyra’s own words and works, director Alison Millar seeks answers to her senseless death in her 92-minute film, “Lyra.” Born into the “ceasefire baby” generation of Northern Ireland, Lyra McKee was a dedicated journalist and queer activist. She was gunned down while covering a riot in Derry at the age of 29. The New Yorker profiled the talented. emerging journalist after her death in an article by Irish journalist Susan McKay.

CASCADIA and Pickford Film Center, in partnership with Bellingham Queer Collective and the Salish Current, are proud to present a special screening of the heart-tugging film, “Lyra,” 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 18, at the Pickford Film Center (1318 Bay St., Bellingham).  “Lyra” is an official selection of CASCADIA’s 2023 Festival being shown now due to limited screen availability during the four-day festival in May.

The film is an intimate examination of “post-conflict” Northern Ireland twenty-five years after the Good Friday Agreements. “Lyra” seeks to make sense of McKee’s death and the significance it came to hold for the country. Through a rich archive of audio recordings, field notes and interviews with those who knew her, the film tells the story of a life fearlessly committed to truth and justice for forgotten crimes. Trailer here:

Director Millar Respected and Recognized for Documentary Work

Director Alison Millar is one of the United Kingdom and Ireland’s most respected documentary film-makers. She’s a British Academy of Film and Television, Independent Film and Television Alliance and Prix Italia award winner. She is known for making emotionally compelling films. Millar has made documentaries for the BBC with many of the UK’s best-known Independent Companies, as well as working in-house for the BBC Documentary Department.

Lyra had earned the respect of so many people. She had spent her short life trying to make sense of her homeland’s violent past, giving the forgotten survivors a voice. Examining the human toll from such violent, turbulent times,” Millar says.

“It took me a long time to agree to make a film about Lyra,” says the director who was Lyra’s good friend. “Truth be told, I was frightened. How could I do her and her work justice? But then, with her sister Nichola and Sara’s persuasion, I decided to make this film. I would do it for Lyra, and for them, and incorporate the story of Northern Ireland through her work and life growing up, as she called it, as a ‘Ceasefire baby’- a term she created, but never particularly liked.”

Lyra’s funeral was televised live across the UK and was attended by dignitaries from the UK and Ireland.Tickets are available through the Pickford Film Center website here: https://pickfordfilmcenter.

Please join us Tuesday, July 18 at 5:30 p.m. at the Pickford for the screening of this powerful and touching film about the dedicated and endearing journalist/activist.