Arts & Culture, Film&TV, Fuinneamh, Health

SexEd documentary director discusses Ireland’s more liberal society, filmmaking process

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SexEd is a documentary by filmmaker Tatiana Evonuk, and the director said the documentary she hopes the documentary “starts a conversation in the culture.”

Speaking to An Focal, Tatiana describes the documentary as “a communal effort influenced heavily by deeply negative and ongoing social effects the Catholic Church and its doctrine continue to have on young people’s perception or level of factual education surrounding sex.”

The main narrative thrust on the documentary focuses on the study the long-lasting manifestations of repressive ideology on health and educational systems, and the control of the Irish censorship board.

“Now in 2019 that grip has loosened in many different dynamics primarily towards positive change adapting to a secular society where Church’s influence declines yearly.”

“We want to celebrate this recent spike in progressive action and use the opportunity to further open discussions around change on the religious stigmatization of sex,” she said.

Tatiana has pointed out that in less than six years, Ireland has voted for same-sex marriage rights, not to mention Ireland was the first country to do so by popular vote, voted for the repealing of the 8th Amendment by a nearly 2:1 margin, and voted for the removal of the Blasphemy offense from the Irish constitution.

SexEd director Tatina Evonuk

“To build on the momentum from these referendum results, people are now looking to break free from all the shame distilled by the religious ethos but instead, embrace engagement in honest factual discussion to educate on vital topics essential to the development of young and healthy sustainable understanding,” she said.

With that said, Tatiana has questions for the viewer:

“Ireland is quickly growing more liberal and open-minded, we have to ask, is it happening fast enough? Are some sectors still playing catch up on the facts surrounding STI’s for example reportedly on the rise across Ireland, or the unchecked ignorance and misconceptions amongst young people regard contraception? How about the unspoken fact HIV is increasing each and every year and nobody addressing the issue?”

A new sex education bill was recently brought by the Minster of Education Richard Bruton and if it will go through it will force a new wave of education given by trained professionals to cover a wide range of topics like, consent, development in contraception, healthy positive sexual expression and relationships, LGBTQ + matters to name but a few topics.

As part of the documentary, Tatiana has interviewed figures within Irish society, such as Tonie Walsh, LGBTQ+ Activist, Kieran Walsh, Social Democrats Councillor from Limerick, and Shawna, founder of sexsiopa.ie

Tony Walsh is among those interviewed in the documentary

“Up to this point, quite a large amount of our interviewees have been targeted professionals initiating action and change from positions of influence clearly exercising a new required common sense,” Tatiana noted.

“Luckily we have attracted momentum and natural engagement from active participants compelled to enforce these tenets for educational reforms. The documentary has created a whole new life of its own compelling, like-minded individuals who want to offer they’re informed and experience knowledge on their own level of invaluable active reform.”

“We are excited to see how far we can push people to reach out to us with insight in these areas and encourage all active involvement in discussions and welcome interviews with you on topics you feel compelled to express or even highlight areas you think we might fail to press upon to further the intended purpose and strength of this body of working.”

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