NO LIMBS, NO LIM­ITS

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - CINEMA - DON­ALD CLARKE

PG cert, gen re­lease, 68 min

NO LIMBS, NO LIM­ITS Di­rected by Steven O’Rior­dan. Fea­tur­ing Joanne O’Rior­dan PG cert, gen­eral re­lease, 68 min

Young Joanne O’Rior­dan is al­ready some­thing of a na­tional hero. Born with Te­tra-amelia syn­drome, an ex­tremely rare con­di­tion char­ac­terised by the ab­sence of all four limbs, the Cork teenager fa­mously pressed Enda Kenny into declar­ing that, if elected in 2011, he would not cut disability fund­ing. She went on to charm view­ers of The Late Late Show and ad­dress an au­di­ence at the United Na­tions.

Steven O’Rior­dan has been film­ing his sis­ter through­out her life and, with the help of the Ir­ish Film Board, Re­hab Group and Voda­fone Ire­land Foun­da­tion, has as­sem­bled a use­ful, funny, of­ten mov­ing record of Joanne’s strug­gles and tri­umphs. The film be­gins with that visit to the UN and then al­lows Joanne’s mother and fa­ther to dis­cuss the sub­ject’s birth.

It’s a trou­bling story. Mrs O’Ri- ordan ex­plains how one med­i­cal pro­fes­sional com­pared their daugh­ter to an un­wanted doll. Their anger fu­elled a de­sire to en­sure that Joanne would live as nor­mal a life as pos­si­ble.

If the film is any guide, the end­lessly charm­ing Ms O’Rior­dan is not the sort of per­son to ac­cept any­thing less. The film is re­strained in its treat­ment of ev­ery­day lo­gis­tics, but her adept ma­nip­u­la­tion with an iPhone is some­thing to be­hold.

Pro­duced on a limited budget, No Limbs, No Lim­its breaks no new ground in the field of doc­u­men­tary cin­ema. But its sin­cer­ity and hon­esty can­not be ques­tioned. Ku­dos to all in­volved in se­cur­ing it space in commercial cin­e­mas.

Lim­it­less: Joanne O’Rior­dan

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