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This film is unique in that it has hardly any dialogue in it at all, yet it makes for a gripping film. It follows a routine patrol of British paratroopers in Northern Ireland. The great thing about this is that there is no musical score, no special effects, thus adding to the realism of life as a British soldier in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. The Parachute Regiment had a very rough ride there, starting with Bloody Sunday in 1972, when 13 civilians were gunned down by soldiers from the Paras' 1st Battalion. Thus they became a sought after target for the IRA. This film shows a patrol in South Armagh, more commonly known as "Bandit Country". You can't help but feel for the lads as they patrol the countryside. When they engage in a shoot-out with terrorists, the gunfight has no fancy effects with it, so you get some idea of how it was. When they lose a soldier, there is no Oscar nominated crying or wailing, just what you would expect from battle hardened soldiers trying to come to terms with a loss. If you want to see how life was really like in the British Army in Northern Ireland, watch this film.
i saw this film, it is very good, i liked the lack of music, and the intense atmosphere it created.would love to see it again.the scene where the soldier is blown up is graphic but is callous in its lack of compassion from the actors,id imagine such a terrible event would trigger more of a reaction in real life?but as a short film i imagine it captures the mood and anguish of the times quite well.as a film it may be slightly off topic now as the mood in northern Ireland is somewhat different to when the film was made, unfortunately the film is not available as a DVD purchase as it appears never to have been released commercially, but remains an interesting film for any one interested in understanding the role being played by the British army in the north of Ireland during these troubled times.
CONTACT is a drama set around a platoon of British soldiers from the
Parachute regiment patrolling the bandit country of the rural border between
Northern Ireland and the Republic. There`s hardly any dialogue and
absolutely no plot as we see a squad of soldiers getting on with a dangerous
and thankless task . Director Alan Clarke has rightfully resisted making any
political comment with CONTACT and gives the programme a docudrama feel with
shaky camera work and jump edits which works totally in its favour . Witness
the scene near the end where the platoon commander investigates an abandoned
car , you`ll be able to hear your own heart pumping with
My one problem with CONTACT is that the patrol sees maybe a bit too much action with terrorists . You could serve several tours of Northern Ireland without coming into contact ( Hence the title of the drama ) with the enemy while here the patrol comes into contact with terrorists several times , but I guess soldiers yomping around Irish fields with no incidents wouldn`t have made much of a dramatic impact
This movie is about reality behind the genre. At times the movie
captures the bits which are usually left out, but are much more
important in soldiering than the fireworks. The excellent down-tempo
approach just makes it perfect in realism.
I first saw this in the 80's, and it caught my attention like nothing before. I think I wore the VHS tape out before long. To my surprise, there was lots of familiarity when I entered military service a few years later.
It is a pity that the movie is apparently not available currently. I would buy a copy right now.
This film had almost no dialogue and almost nothing happens except for a few outbreaks of random violence. But yet it is an incredibly gripping film. Alan Clarke lets us feel both the boredom and terror of war and the film never lets up for it's sixty minutes as the steadicam follows the exhausted british soldiers as they trudge through the endless, and eerily beautiful irish landscape.
This title took me years to get. Having trawled every Militaria site to try and find it I found it unavailable on any Formats. It was shown on UK TV and I thought it may turn up in the next 20 or so years. Having stumbled upon it I found it a pleasant surprise and a shock to see many of the cast from the early Eastenders series. A rarity that takes pride of place in my Video Vault. And one that should be released along side the likes of classics Scum and Made in England. For realism this has to be one of those films that anyone really has to see. The American Vietnam alternatives would have to be the great movies How Sleep The Brave or the equally brilliant Australian SAS movie The Odd Angry Shot. For realism in the Northern Ireland situation Contact should have its place in Film history. Thought provoking and heart wrenching in its realism. Rest In Peace A F N Clarke.
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