A Secret Journey

By Plum Stupple-Harris | Drama
3 Irish women spend the night in London after traveling for an illegal procedure.

In an apartment in London, a small group of Irish women spends the night. They don’t seem to have a lot in common and seem very different in personality. One, Mickey, is young and spiky in demeanor; another, Helen, is young as well, and outgoing and chatty; another seems to be isolated in her own sadness and depression. They’re joined by the kind, gentle yet no-nonsense owner of the apartment.

But they have one important thing in common: they’ve left Ireland to travel to the U.K., where they can legally terminate their pregnancies.

The journey, however, comes with its own perils, traumas and tensions, whether it’s physical pain or their own internal feelings. But in this ad-hoc community, thrown together by their difficult experience and clashing with their different personalities, they find some understanding and empathy.

This reflective, sensitively-calibrated social drama — directed by Plum Stupple-Harris and written by Isobel McConnell and Stupple-Harris — goes deep inside a headline-making social issue, turning facts and policy into a deeply emotional journey that is fraught with pain but hopeful with connection.

From the carefully observant writing to the honest, unvarnished performances, the storytelling emphasizes a deeply humanistic take on a difficult subject, going deep into its characters’ experiences. The muted naturalism is gentle and suffused with a soft, melancholy light, framing this small, secret world with a sense of separateness that can either skew isolating or comforting, depending on where each character is at.

Its deliberate pacing and careful attention to the small details and textures of the experience — including the aftereffects, both physical and emotional — present each character with distinctiveness and individuality. The writing has the gift of not defining each character by the issue, but instead gives them unique personalities and ways of being in the world.

These personalities often clash, and sharing the close quarters in such a difficult emotional situation often proves contentious. The ensemble cast here — lead by Jamie-Lee O’Donnell as Mickey and Clara Baxendale as Helen — offer vivid characterizations and raw yet understated emotion, alive to how we can hold our feelings at arms’ length until they’re safe to be witnessed.

And ultimately, the idea of witness and understanding fuels the core of “A Secret Journey.” These women’s experiences are often kept secret, or pushed into the margins. Yet their ability to be open about them — and the film’s willingness to center them on screen — forwards the idea that any kind of healing, understanding or genuine engagement with difficult subjects must come with both the safety to be open — and a willingness to listen.

You Might Also Like:


By Richard Prendergast | Drama
A single mother takes her family on a road trip. But it's to an unwanted destination.

Second Best

By Alyssa McClelland | Comedy
Twin sisters turn into rivals when one's gymnastics career steals the spotlight.

No More Wings

By Abraham Adeyemi | Drama
2 friends meet at their favorite fried chicken shop. But their lives have diverged.


By Gokalp Gonen | Animation
A man is trapped on a spaceship after his robot overseer finds every planet uninhabitable.

Feeling Through (Oscars)

By Doug Roland | Drama
A homeless teen meets a deaf-blind man who changes his life forever...


By Hadley Hillel | Drama
A man's suicide attempt rips a hole in the ceiling. Then he befriends the boy upstairs.

Dig Your Own Grave

By Kirk Larsen | Comedy
A man is forced to dig his own grave in the desert. But the ground is hard.

Call Connect

By Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell | Drama
A young helpline operator takes her first call and gets more than she expected.

More Than God

By Kev Cahill | Comedy
A devoted husband suspects his wife is cheating on him. Then he hides under the bed.

Welcome to Iron Knob

By Dave Wade | Comedy
A young boy accidentally shoots a stranger and the town tries to cover it up.


By Erika Davis-Marsh | Romance
A young dancer falls for a deaf guy, then tries to find her place in the world.

Toni With an I

By Marco Alessi | Drama
An awkward girl doesn't fit in at school. Then the Internet comes to save her.

The Things You Think I’m Thinking

By Sherren Lee | Drama
A burn-survivor goes on his first date after his accident.

Into the Silent Sea

By Andrej Landin | Sci-Fi
A Soviet cosmonaut who is stranded in space discovers a voice in the distance.

Infinite ft. George MacKay

By Connor O’Hara | Drama
A terminally-ill man has a plan to 'live on' and gets his friends to help.

Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.