Nothing Compares, by the Irish film-maker Kathryn Ferguson, attempts to tell a fuller story than the one we may know, painting O’Connor not just as a magnet for controversy, but as a ferocious, determined artist and a feminist freedom fighter who provided a mainstream voice for unheard outsiders. While the film focuses specifically on 1987-93 and O’Connor’s rise and fall in the US, it does a remarkable job of weaving together the musician’s life, art and activism, positioning her appearance on Saturday Night Live and the subsequent fallout not as a one-off stunt but as a considered show of defiance in a life that would be full of such incidents.
Consisting largely of archival footage, home videos and recreations of events, this beautiful film prioritizes the view O’Connor had of herself – someone simply speaking truth to power, determined to advocate for victims on a global stage. Although the film wasn’t intended as one, it’s a worthy memorial to a fearless, bright-burning life.
Admission is $5.