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Everything in This Country Must (2004)

 -  Drama | Short  -  31 August 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 76 users  
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Northern Ireland. Soldiers, through inattention, run into a car with a woman and her young son. Two years later, a horse is stuck in the river, and the soldiers happen along, but the ... See full summary »


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Title: Everything in This Country Must (2004)

Everything in This Country Must (2004) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins. See more awards »


Credited cast:
Gerry Doherty ...
Karly Greene ...
James Doran ...
Alan Heyburn ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jamie Martin ...
Saracen Commander


Northern Ireland. Soldiers, through inattention, run into a car with a woman and her young son. Two years later, a horse is stuck in the river, and the soldiers happen along, but the horse's owner is violently opposed to their help; he relents, but his hostility is obvious when his daughter invites them inside afterward to warm up. Written by Jon Reeves <>

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Drama | Short





Release Date:

31 August 2004 (USA)  »

Box Office


$250,000 (estimated)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Featured in The 77th Annual Academy Awards (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Worthy message but the basic delivery means it falls well short of the mark
29 August 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

An armed car ploughs into a civilian car on a country road, killed a woman and her young son. Two years later a man and his daughter find themselves overwhelmed by the rain and struggling to save their horse from the flooded river. The army pass by on patrol and come to their help, although the man does not want their help because it was his wife and son that were killed years ago.

Although relying very heavily on one major coincidence to produce the narrative, this film still produces a good story that engages while also serving as a look at the issues of forgiveness within the Northern Ireland conflict. The father is the focus of the film for it is his inability to forgive and the state's inability to provide justice that feed his anger and pain. This would have been better if it had not been painted so simply and in broad strokes by the writer, but as it is it comes off as a rather simplistic and tidy summing up of the conflict – the last line of the film being a fine example of this. It is interesting enough to do the job and perhaps, having lived in NI for most of my life, I'm too familiar with the subject to be able to get much from this film, but I doubt that was the problem.

Forgiveness is an issue in NI, and the idea of civilians being killed through Army negligence is certainly correct but this film doesn't do anything clever or insightful with it. Its simplicity is a strength in the regard that it doesn't make the mistakes that so many film versions of Northern Ireland do, but the "message" is a bit corny and delivered in such a basic fashion that it betrays the complexity of the emotions and situation in real life. A worthy try that is well directed and makes good use of its budget but it falls well short of the mark.

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