In February, 1975, in Northern Ireland, seventeen year-old UVF member Alistair Little kills the catholic Jimmy Griffin in his house in Lurgan in front of his younger brother Joe Griffin. Alistair is arrested and imprisoned for twelve years while Joe is blamed by his mother for not saving his brother. Thirty-three years later, a TV promotes the meeting of Alistair and Joe in a house in River Finn, expecting the truth and the reconciliation of the murderer and the victim who actually seeks five minutes of heaven. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The little boy he delivers the note from Liam Neeson's character was named "Liam." See more »
In the scene where Alistair (as a teenager) is rummaging through the box under his bed, he extracts a knitted stuffed animal and places it beside the box with the head facing away from him. When he pulls out the gun, the stuffed animal is now lying with its head closest to him. See more »
Young Alistair - 1975:
For me to talk about the man I have become, you need to know about the man I was. I was 14 when I joined the Tartan gangs, and I was 15 when I joined the UVF, the Ulster Volunteer Force. At that time, don't forget, there were riots on the streets every week; petrol bombs everyday, and that was just in our town. When you got home and switched on the TV, you could see what was happening in every other town as well, and it was like we were under siege. Fathers and brothers ...
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Just viewed this tonight and thought it was really an excellent commentary on the difficulty of forgiveness, the helplessness of letting go, and, of course, how hate and regret can meet and be resolved (many times with misgivings and myopic single mindedness). It is said that forgiveness (whether of oneself or another) is the hardest endeavor a human being can face. This film brilliantly portrays the anguish of two men, one who hates and can't forgive another, and one who regrets and can't forgive himself. The brevity of the film (121 minutes) and the abrupt ending belies the volumes of emotion that permeate almost every scene. The movie is both compelling and enjoyable while also being very disturbing.
A part not to be overlooked is played by Anamaria Marinca (Vika), a 'gopher' for the film crew. Her character added quite a bit of depth to the film. Neeson and Nesbitt should both be recognized for their riveting performances.
In most films today the focus is on revenge, blood, and murder. "Five Minutes.." includes these vices but, contrary to the blood and gore in many movies today, this film's focal points are, indeed, letting go, finding your life and living it, focusing on what means most to you, demolishing the demons that haunt you, and, most importantly, discovering that elusive human effort which leads to forgiveness. It's hard...very hard, and most of us can't bring ourselves to that end because forgiveness is many times viewed by society as weakness when it is, in actuality, strength.
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