15 August 1998: the Real IRA exploded a bomb on a crowded street in Omagh, just into Northern Ireland, to halt the Good Friday accords and peace process; 29 people died. Families formed the Omagh Support Group to press the police in their inquiries. The film focuses on the Gallagher family, who lose their son Aiden. His father, Michael, a mechanic, becomes chair of the support group. The press for answers strains his relationship with his wife. High-ranking police speak in bromides. Shadowy figures offer intelligence that calls into question the integrity before and after the bombing of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and its Special Branch. Will the murders remain unsolved? Written by
The song "Broken Things" which was sung by Julie Miller at the end of the film, was performed at the memorial service for the Omagh bomb victims by local singer Juliet Turner. See more »
[final scene, addressing the media pack]
The day our loved ones lost their lives and our families were torn apart, we were told that everything would be done to bring their killers to justice. To learn today that they have failed us, before the bomb, after the bomb, and are still failing us now. To have that knowledge, however distressing, however shocking means that we can at last move forward. I would like to announce today that we will be pursuing our own legal action against the Real IRA. ...
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I do not believe I have ever seen a movie that more truthfully and compellingly captures tragedy than Pete Travis's Omagh.
Omagh tells the story of the 1998 Real IRA bombing that killed 29 people in the city of Omagh, Northern Ireland, and the aftermath that followed. Yet what endears me to this film is that this could have been any town, any family, any tragedy. The film is completely without frills. It is one of the few films I've seen that does not romanticize death and tragedy. It has no towering musical score telling your emotions where to go (there is no score at all, actually), no dramatic final words, no sanguine epitaphs. Instead, Travis shows us what the camera usually leaves out -- the dirty dishes after the funeral party has left your house, the ubiquitous reporters asking for pictures of the deceased, the kind but nuisance of a neighbor offering help when you just want to be left alone.
The technical aspects of the film were all very well done, as were the actors' performances. Everything about the film makes you feel as though you are looking through a window into what really happened at Omagh, rather than watching an screen adaptation of the events. Omagh is well worth a see.
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