A new-born baby’s body is washed up on a deserted beach, shocking a rural community. On the same night eighty kilometres away, a young mother gives birth to a stillborn baby. Out of Innocence is set at a time of disharmony for women in Ireland, and inspired by the Kerry Babies Case which saw Joanne Hayes wrongly accused of infanticide and her and her family dragged through a prolonged and inhumane criminal investigation. The case (which coincided with the Ann Lovett case) became a landmark in Irish social history and contributed to societal change and the decline in the power of the Catholic Church in Ireland.
Dramatised with masterful restraint by Fionnuala Flaherty (Foscadh) and Fiona Shaw against an almost colourless palette, the film evokes the grim oppressions of smalltown Ireland in the 1980s.