While on patrol in Northern Ireland a young Welsh squaddie inadvertently kills an IRA gunman in self defense and is imprisoned by his own army on charges of murder, where he suffers both the indignities of mistreatment and the more intimate torture of his own memories. His British captors want to break his spirit, but he stubbornly refuses to admit any guilt, and does what he can to retaliate from within his strict confinement. The story itself is only a small human drama within a larger, more ambiguous conflict, presenting a portrait of a boy caught between his loyalty to the army and his love for an 'enemy' Catholic girl, set against a gritty, background of Irish urban warfare. It may lack the glossy appeal of a big budget production, but with its choppy, fragmented style (closely approximating the impressions and memories of its protagonist) the film speaks with an urgency befitting the issues it confronts, taking a fresh look at an old wound that may never be allowed to heal.
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