Since the beginning of her career, Sinéad O’Connor has used her powerful voice to challenge the narratives she was surrounded by while growing up in predominantly Roman Catholic Ireland. Despite her agency, depth, and perspective, O’Connor’s unflinching refusal to conform means that she has often been patronized and unfairly dismissed as an attention-seeking pop star.
NOTHING COMPARES is a powerful reminder of just how revolutionary Sinéad O’Connor was as a female artist in the 80’s and 90’s. Decades ahead of her time in fashion, music and political causes, O’Connor arrived out of nowhere, taking the world by storm with her never-before-experienced attitude and sound. Her record label suggested she grow her hair and wear short dresses. In response, O’Connor shaved her head and wore Doc Marten boots with jeans. They told her to have an abortion when she became pregnant on the eve of her first cd’s release but Sinéad kept the baby with all of the album cover photo-shoots limited to just head and shoulders only. All at the age of twenty.
With a balanced mixed of recently recorded voice-over and archival footage, Kathryn Ferguson’ thought-provoking documentary is an intimate look into the young woman who divided audiences from day one. Openly documented in her song lyrics, O’Connor talks about the horrific treatment she suffered from her mother and how those traumatic experiences shaped her need to be heard. She never meant to become a pop star, she just wanted to scream.
This gripping documentary will remind you of the raw glory of her incredible voice, her ballsy commitment to institution-challenging statements and her amazing artistic vulnerability. O’Connor was decades ahead of her time and we just weren’t ready for her.