Neil Jordan's historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.
After the disastrous defeat of Irish rebels by superior UK forces during the Easter Rising, Michael Collins develops new strategies for the independence of Ireland. His tactics include what is now recognized as urban guerrilla tactics and organized assassinations of those Irish who work as informers for the UK government, and later members of British intelligence. Although Collins is conflicted about the necessity of this violent course, by 1921 the British are willing to negotiate. Sinn Fein President Eamon de Valera sends a reluctant Collins to London to negotiate a settlement. When Collins returns with a compromise of a partitioned Ireland and an Irish Free State, not a Republic, within the British Empire he is vilified by de Valera and repudiated by lifelong friend Harry Boland after Boland learns that his girlfriend Kitty Kiernan is in love with Collins. Collins is now faced with civil war as he struggles against those who insist on complete and unconditional independence for all...Written by
Eamonn De Valera is shown surrendering with the General Post
Office garrison after the Easter Rising. However, he was actually Commandant of the garrison at Bolland's Mills, which surrendered after the GPO upon receiving orders to stand down. He was never at the GPO during the Rising. See more »
[dictating a letter]
You've got to think of him the way he was... He was what the times demanded. And life without him seems impossible. But he's dead. And life is possible. He made it possible.
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Opening scroll: At the turn of the century Britian was the foremost world power and the British Empire stretched over two-thirds of the globe. Despite the extent of its power its most troublesome colony had always been the one closest to it, Ireland For seven hundred years Britain's rule over Ireland had been resisted by attempts at rebellion and revolution, all of which ended in failure. Then, in 1916, a rebellion began, to be followed by a guerilla war which would change the nature of that rule forever. The mastermind behind that war was Michael Collins. His life and death defined the period, in its triumph, terror and tragedy. This is his story. See more »
Low whistle and Uilleann pipes
Played by Davy Spillane
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment (U.K.) Limited See more »
A great movie
This movie is an excellent portrayal of the brutal and often non-conventional Irish freedom struggle. The movie has several great strengths. The biggest strength is Liam Neeson in his tour-de-force. His acting in this movie is as good as it gets. His personality changes subtly throughout the movie, becoming increasingly affected by the changes of the world around him. The supporting cast is also excellent, with Rickman in one of his best roles.
Cinematography is very nice, capturing everything from the hopelessness of the defeats in the ashy cities to the beauty of the Irish landscapes. The pacing is very good as well.
If you saw this movie with no opinion on the Irish history, you will have one when you leave the theater. This shows to me how powerful this movie is. After all, Michael Collin's tactics were not pretty, everything from car-bombings to mob-style executions. Yet we still care for him, we want him to succeed, even if he himself isn't sure he wants to.
Without it's politics, this movie is still excellent. It's a great piece of movie-making, it's involving, sad, funny and sometimes tense. One of the movies I consider classic.
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