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Belfast, in 1970s. Victor Kelly is a young protestant man who hates the Catholics so much that one night he begins to brutally murder them. A reporter soon tries to uncover the murder and obtained prestige for himself, while Victor sinks deeper into madness. Written by
Why didn't they just make a movie about Lenny Murphy?
I guess this was as far as the filmmakers could go without actually calling Kelly Murphy. So instead of the audience being shown a film that could be called a true story, the events portrayed, however close to real life, take on an air of the surreal. The fact that there was a gang who did this sort of thing and a whole lot worse in the name of sectarian hatred is not made clear. Maybe they thought worldwide audiences would struggle with this concept, and introduced some kind of psychopathic blood lust to make the whole thing more believable. As it is, watching this film, and having read Martin Dillon's excellent book, I was left feeling frustrated, that an opportunity to portray the actual events was badly missed, being dumped into a crypto-fascist mishmash of conflicting motives. Living in N. Ireland, we know that there were and are people who could do this sort of thing and justify it on religious grounds..the film just isn't brave enough to say this, and so we are left with this psycho loner character that is frankly laughable. the gang weren't held in some kind of thrall by this psycho, acting against their will, they actually killed while Murphy was in prison, to make him look innocent. Townsend does what he was asked to do, it's just a pity he wasn't asked to do the right thing.
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