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Human Rights Watch Film Festival: The 8th (12)

Cinema On Demand

woman sits on the shoulders of a friend at a protest

Capturing a crucial moment in women's rights, this is the story of how Ireland overturned one of the world's most restrictive laws on abortion.

The film follows veteran campaigner Ailbhe Smyth and self-described glitter-activist Andrea Horan as they chart a bold strategy of grassroots activism to engineer the impossible and carry a traditionally conservative and religious electorate over the line to extend rights to women seeking an abortion.

An urgent narrative, a cautionary tale and a roadmap for progressive reforms in a modern era where authoritarianism is on the rise, The 8th shows a country forging a new path at a time when reproductive rights are threatened around the world.

The film is followed by a recorded ScreenTalk with director Lucy Kennedy, film participants Andrea Horan and Ailbhe Smythe, Hillary Margolis, Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division, Human Rights Watch, and moderated by Rothna Begum, Human Rights Watch.

Ireland/US 2020 Dir Aideen Kane, Lucy Kennedy, Maeve O’Boyle 94min


This film is fully captioned in English for audiences who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

This film contains abortion theme, sexual violence references, infrequent strong language that some viewers may find disturbing and flickering or flashing lights that may affect those with photosensitive epilepsy.

UK Digital Premiere

HRWFF logo
‘It's about more than what you're voting on - while we're voting on reproductive health care, it's also about the value we're giving women in Irish society, saying we do value them and we do trust them‘
Andrea Horan, The 8th

Filmmaker Introduction

a woman sits on a friend's shoulder at a protest

Filmmaker Introduction: The 8th

Lucy Kennedy, one of the directors of The 8th, introduces her film for Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2021.

How to watch

Please note this rental is only available within the UK

1.    Choose the film you want to watch.
2.    Add to basket and proceed to purchase.

3.    If you already have an account, you can log in during the purchase. If not, create an account as you buy. 

4.    Once your purchase has gone through, you can click on the button to click to ‘Watch your films', or click on the link in your email, or go to your account.
5.    Your film will be available to watch from Thu 18 to Fri 26 March. Enjoy! 

If you have any issues with this title, please contact our Box Office team via [email protected] or via Live Chat between 9.30am–5pm and 6.30–9.30pm throughout the festival, Monday to Sunday (except Mon 22 Mar, 9.30–5pm only), or browse our help centre.

Screen sharing is strictly prohibited.

The festival does not want the cost of entry to these films to be a barrier for participation in these events. If the price of buying a ticket to this film would prevent you from taking part, please email [email protected] and Human Rights Watch Film Festival will email you a free ticket code. There are a small number of tickets set aside, first come, first served. Once all free tickets are claimed, the code stops working.

For anyone that purchases a ticket, thank you. Your ticket purchase allows us to support the filmmakers and organisations that are bringing the films to you.