Winter 2003 Edge series
Sunday, January 26, 2003 at 7:00pm
Empire Theatres, New Minas, NS
Rated NR ·
Ireland / United Kingdom
On January 30th, 1972, British soldiers shot dead 13 unarmed civilians taking part in an anti-internment civil rights march in Derry, Northern Ireland. This event, Bloody Sunday, was a major turning point in the history of the modern Irish troubles, catapulting the conflict into a civil war, driving many young men into the ranks of the IRA and fuelling a 25-year cycle of violence. This film tells the story of Bloody Sunday in just one day from dawn till dusk, from the arrival of thousands of troops on the streets of the besieged city to the violent collision between soldiers from the crack Paratroop Regiment and the crowds of civilian demonstrators. It focuses in particular on the stories of four men: Ivan Cooper (James Nesbitt, Waking Ned Devine), an idealistic Civil Rights leader, a Protestant in the Catholic camp who shares Martin Luther King’s dream of peaceful change; Gerry Donaghy (Declan Duddy), a 17 year old Catholic rebel, who yearns to settle down and marry his Protestant girlfriend, but who is drawn into violent confrontation with the soldiers; Brigadier Patrick MacLellan (Nicholas Farrell, Plunkett & Macleane, Hamlet), the commander of the British Army in Londonderry who is under pressure to take firm action to stop the march; and a young private, a radio operator in the Paras, who is ordered, with his unit of hardened veterans, into the Bogside. Shot in a vivid, ultra-realistic style, on the streets and amongst the crowds, in the command posts and in the alleyways, Bloody Sunday is a war film about the struggle for peace. In its extremely focused time-frame but epic scale, the film is an emotional roller-coaster, an intense, unblinking Battle of Algiers for Northern Ireland: a portrait of the collision between the unstoppable force and the immovable object that is the 700-year conflict between Britain and Ireland.
“Magnetic and impassioned.” – Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times
“A forceful and accomplished work.” – Doris Toumarkine, Film Journal International