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Blind Flight (2003)

The true story of Irishman Brian Keenan and Englishman John McCarthy's extraordinary relationship as hostages of militias in Lebanon during the 1979-91 Civil War.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kalim Koleilat ...
Industrial Cell - Kidnap Guard
Industrial Cell - Militia Officer
Storeroom - Joker
Dany El Khoury ...
Storeroom - Rida (as Dany B. Khoury)
Storeroom - Senior Cleric
Mohamad Chamas ...
Underground Cell - Abed (as Mohammed Chamas)
Ziad Lahoud ...
Underground Cell - Said
Fadi Sakr ...
Underground Cell - Safi
Bahi Ghubril ...
Other Guards - Releasing Officer
Abdala Keserwani ...
Other Guards - Farmhouse Guard
Haroutioun Toupoushian ...
Other Guards - Mazin
Asbed Zaderian ...
Other Guards - First Gunman
Aine Ni Mhuiri ...
Brian's Mum


Keenan and McCarthy spent 4.5 years confined together, held underground for much of their captivity, at times chained to each other and to the walls of their prisons. The two men, who could easily have found themselves at opposite ends of a gun barrel in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, instead forged a relationship which transcended all that appeared to divide them. "Blind Flight" tells the story of this compelling relationship as they both resurrect their deepest memories, feelings, fears and loves. In their near biblical journey they uncover many of the forces which made them blind and captive human beings prior to their physical captivity. They finally discover a compassion for their captors which makes the film a 'love story' in the fullest and most humanistic sense. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

9 April 2004 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

La nuit des otages  »

Filming Locations:


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Did You Know?


Brian's fingernails remain neatly trimmed throughout the period of captivity. See more »

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User Reviews

A surprisingly humorous re-telling of Brian Keenan and John McCarthy's hostage experiences in Beirut.
13 October 2004 | by (Reading, England) – See all my reviews

I was in two minds about seeing this film; although I feel it's important to be reminded of both the awfulness and the greatness of the human spirit, I find it hard to stomach violence and cruelty. However, my social conscience overrode my ostrich-like nature and boy am I glad it did. Blind Flight, the story of Brian Keenan and John McCarthy's hostage experiences in Beirut back in the 1980s, is a surprisingly light-hearted and humorous film. Indeed it transpires that a lot of the ad-libbing that occurred during filming had to be cut from the final edit. This fact emphasises the closeness and the nature of the relationship between the two men, being founded on a wry humour that belied the reality of their situation. Ian Hart as Keenan and Linus Roache as McCarthy are phenomenally accurate in their portrayal of the two men, highlighting the differences between this 'odd couple' without ever resorting to caricature.

Although never shying away from the inevitable brutality that occurs when man is given ultimate power over man, all credit to the John Furse for giving a human face to the guards, and showing how 'good' and 'evil' are such subjective notions during political struggles. However the film was also careful to point out that even during such extreme situations, there is a right and a wrong way to treat people. This film made surprisingly little impact in the UK upon its release. I hope it finds the audience it deserves on DVD.

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