Shaun O’Connor’s Live-Action Short A White Horse – Review

Director Shaun O’Connor, writer Paul Cahill and producer Sinead Barry of Three Pin Productions create an enticing and thought-provoking film A White Horse, which focuses on a young lady who is sent to a mental hospital for conversion therapy. This topical and breathtaking film won the Oscar-qualifying Best Irish Short Film Award at Foyle Film Festival.

O’Connor and Cahills’ subtle nuances of Bridget’s sexuality encourages the audience to witness the lense of inhumane practices without prejudice. During the short, audiences are left to ponder what unthinkable actions lead to Bridget’s confinement, and by its conclusion; they are left with the haunting realization of the suffering endured by those considered abnormal by society.

A family should choose acceptance over understanding when concerning their child, but often the former isn’t always an immediate response. Bridget’s family treated her as if she were a convicted murderer, but regardless of the pain caused by her family’s abandonment, Bridget didn’t possess hate for them. Rather than fueling the audience with rage, O’Connor and Cahill instead resurrected disappointment towards a family who chose their shortsighted values over their familial bond.

The inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community has grown in the recent decade, but proper representation in the genre remains slim. A White Horse constitutes pride members as individuals who aren’t broken due to their sexuality but destroyed by the implementation of innocent youth into the shameful practice of conversion therapy. 

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