Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5
United Kingdom/Ireland, 2002. Bórd Scannán na hÉireann, Granada Television, Hell’s Kitchen Films, Irish Film Board, Portman Entertainment Group. Screenplay by Paul Greengrass. Cinematography by Ivan Strasburg. Produced by Mark Redhead. Music by Dominic Muldowney. Production Design by John Paul Kelly. Costume Design by Dinah Collin. Film Editing by Clare Douglas.
Heartbreaking, impressive film about the massacre of peaceful Northern Irish protestors by the British army in 1972. Catholics in Derry, Northern Ireland are tired of the unfair treatment they have been receiving from a government that favours its Protestant citizens in an almost completely segregated political situation.
They decide to have a march on a Sunday afternoon to let the government know that their voice will be heard and their demands will be acknowledged, even though the British government has already outlawed marches or parades of any kind in the country. Deciding this to be a giant insurrection by a terrorist army, England sends its forces in to prevent a revolution.
What the army actually ends up doing, however, is slaughtering unarmed women and children and then fabricating stories in later reports about offensive attacks from the marcher’s weapons that required them to defend themselves.
Using documentary-style filmmaking (including filming with only natural lighting and handheld cameras), director Paul Greengrass has created a fantastic, time-machine trip back to a very turbulent moment in British history and presented it without any ridiculous fanfare or emotionally sappy back stories.
Berlin Film Festival Award: Golden Bear
European Film Award Nominations: Best European Film; Best European Screenwriter; Best European Cinematographer