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Five Minutes of Heaven (2009) Poster

Quotes

Alistair Little: [talking to TV camera] 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. 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 and friends were being killed in the streets, and the feeling was, we all have to do somethin'. We're all in this together and we all have to do somethin'.

Alistair Little: The thing you have to remember, what you have to understand, is the mindset. Once you have signed up to terror, and joined the organization - the group - your mind closes right down. It becomes only *our* story that matters, not their story - the Catholics. It's only *my* people that are being killed, and here suffering and that need looking after. Catholics being killed? Doesn't enter your head. And so when I went up to Sammy, our local commander, and told him I wanted to kill a Catholic man, it wasn't a wrong thing for me to do. In my head, it was the proper, the just, the fair, the good thing to do. And so, it was easy.

Alistair Little: When I got to the house, there was a boy in the street. I didn't expect him to be there, but, there he was. I only looked at him for a moment because I had a job to do, but if I had known that he was Jim's brother, I would have shot him as well. It was in the mindset. It was tit-for-tat, and perhaps one more - why not? That's what it was like. I was only 17. I'd seen my people fighting ever since I was a wee boy. You'd take sides with your friends as a boy, but we weren't just throwing stones over the fence, we were shooting guns. What I want to tell people - what society must do - is to stop people getting to the point where they join the group. Because when you get to that point it's too late. No-one's gonna stop you. No-one's gonna change your mind. And once you're in, you will do anything. You will kill anyone on the other side, because it's right to do it. Once your man has joined the group, society has lost him. And what he needs to hear are voices on his own side, stopping him before he goes in. There were no voices on my side, not on my side of the town, not in my state. No-one was telling me anything other than that killing is right. It was only in prison when I heard that other voice. And the Muslims now, you know the kids now are like I was then. They need to hear those voices now, stopping them from thinking that killing is good. They need *their own* people to say "no". That's where they need to hear it, and that's where I would put my money - on making those voices heard in every mosque in the country.

Alistair Little: When I got home, my mother and father were watching the TV, and it came on the news that the man I had shot was dead. I was so excited, I couldn't wait for when I would get my congratulations. Sammy was going to come knocking at my door, he was going to lead me out into the street and proudly walk me into the bar, and everybody was gonna stand up and applaud. Me? I would've shot anyone for that. And that is why I talk to anybody who would listen now, to tell them to stop boys like me thinking that to shoot an innocent, and a decent man in the head, is a good thing.

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Joe Griffin: 2008: [Thinking to himself] Well, here you are, pal, a fully signed-up member of the celebrity circuit of life's victims: men in love with donkeys, twins stuck together by their bullocks, elephant women who can't get out of their chairs, and now you.

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Alistair Little: Time will heal they say... what everybody says about everything. The years just get heavier. Why don't they tell you that? Nobody tells you that!

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[first lines]

Young Alistair - 1975: [narrating] 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 and friends were being killed in the streets, and the feeling was, we all have to do somethin'. We're all in this together and we all have to do somethin'.

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Joe Griffin: 2008: [to driver] Was I talking to myself? It gets me a good seat. I've had no-one sitting next to me for years.

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Joe's Chauffeur - 2008: You made me jump!

Joe Griffin: 2008: What do you think it does to me? I'm one fuck of a lot closer to me than you are!

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Joe Griffin: 2008: So! The man shot my brother three times in the head. The man is having the life of Riley. What should I do? Do I shake his hand or do I kill him?

Vika - 2008: Well, killing him wouldn't be good for him.

Joe Griffin: 2008: For sure of that!

Vika - 2008: But it wouldn't be good for you either.

Joe Griffin: 2008: Oh, not good for me? My five minutes of heaven? How would that be not good for me?

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Alistair Little: [to interviewer] Guilty if I laugh. Guilty if I drink. Guilty if I forget. How to get through a day. What to do in it. I wake up, I go out. But where to go? He's always there. In my head. And I don't know where to go. Where to put yourself after it all. It's the same for everyone. Some of us have found an answer. He's killed a few Catholics in his time. and now he's killing his own. Some protection thing to control the estate. Released after the Good Friday Agreement, he's on top of the world again, still living it, just like he always was, with his mates watching his back, breathing in the scent of his victories.

Alistair Little: If I had gone with him then, just said yes to him then... That's all I had to do, just tell him I was in. I know that isn't my answer, but what *is* my answer, you know? I sit in meeting rooms all over the world and I help men to live with what they've done to a wife, a child, a stranger, a neighbor - how to live with that act of violence. That's, you know, always there inside us. But I can't help myself. Sometimes I feel that this preacher is just the man I've become so that I can cheat my way through my life.

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Alistair Little: Get rid of me, Joe, so that when you wake up in the morning, it's not me's in your head, it's your daughters. Don't give them me. Go home and tell them that you've killed me off. That I'm gone, forever. I'm nothing. Nothing. Go home and tell them that and live your life for them.

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Joe Griffin: 2008: [in group session] I want my daughters... to have a dad they could be proud of. That's it. That's it. Well, that's it.

[beginning to cry]

Joe Griffin: 2008: That's out. That's out. That's out. That's out.

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[last lines]

Joe Griffin: 2008: [on the phone] Alistair Little?

Alistair Little: Yeah?

Joe Griffin: 2008: It's Joe Griffin. We're finished.

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