Sinead O’Connor talks infamous ‘SNL’ performance in new trailer for ‘Nothing Compares’ documentary

“An artist’s job is sometimes to create difficult conversations," O’Connor says of her Saturday Night Live appearance

A new trailer has been released for Nothing Compares, an upcoming documentary chronicling Sinead O’Connor’s rise to fame in the early ‘90s.

The trailer for Nothing Compares – which will be ​​available for streaming and on-demand on September 30 in the US, and October 7 in UK cinemas – opens with footage of the singer being met with cheers and boos during one of her concerts, before launching into a discussion of the 1990 song that courted controversy for a large period of her career: ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’.

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“The level when ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ became a hit was extraordinary”, one of the documentary’s narrators says, noting that “the song went number one everywhere in the world.” The trailer later hears from an employee on Saturday Night Live, the sketch comedy show where O’Connor infamously tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II in protest of clerical child abuse.

“I had come across an article about families who had been trying to lodge complaints against the church for sexual abuse and were being silenced,” O’Connor elaborates in the trailer, declaring that “an artist’s job is sometimes to create difficult conversations that need to be had.”

O’Connor’s 1992 SNL performance of the Bob Marley song ‘War’ – which also saw the singer replace the lyric “racism” with “child abuse” — was the subject of parodies and debate for years after. Referencing the fallout in the trailer, O’Connor says “they tried to bury me. They didn’t realise I was a seed.”

O’Connor has discussed her SNL appearance before. In a 2021 interview with Today, the singer deemed the performance “a blessing” and commented on the foresight of her political statement. “Ten years after the pope-ripping episode, you all then found out in America that this was going on,” she said.

Nothing Compares was directed by Kathryn Ferguson. In addition to input from people close to the singer, the documentary will include a new interview with O’Connor herself.

The trailer arrives amid a period of personal grief for O’Connor herself, after she lost her son in January of this year. Days later, O’Connor was admitted to hospital, and later cancelled her gigs for the rest of the year.

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