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1987, love in time of war. A bus driver George Lennox meets Carla, a Nicaraguan exile living a precarious, profoundly sad life in Glasgow. Her back is scarred, her boyfriend missing, her ... See full summary »
In 1920, rural Ireland is the vicious battlefield of republican rebels against the British security forces and Irish Unionist population who oppose them, a recipe for mutual cruelty. Medical graduate Damien O'Donovan always gave priority to his socialist ideals and simply helping people in need. Just when he's leaving Ireland to work in a highly reputed London hospital, witnessing gross abuse of commoners changes his mind. he returns and joins the local IRA brigade, commanded by his brother Teddy, and adopts the merciless logic of civil war, while Teddy mellows by experiencing first-hand endless suffering. When IRA leaders negotiate an autonomous Free State under the British crown, Teddy defends the pragmatic best possible deal at this stage. Damien however joins the large seceding faction which holds nothing less than a socialist republic will do. The result is another civil war, bloodily opposing former Irish comrades in arms, even the brothers.Written by
The filmmakers said it wasn't easy to find a thin child to play the undernourished boy Damien is sent to examine. See more »
At one point, the characters sing Amhrán na bhFiann, the Irish language version of The Soldier's Song, which would go on to become Ireland's national anthem. Whilst The Soldier's Song was known at the time, the version in Irish was not written until 1923, three years after the film is set. See more »
It is too late, Teddy. You can't see it. You really can't see it. John Bull has got his hand down your pants, his fist round your bollocks and you can't see it?
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An exciting piece of Ken Loach drama based on events that sparked the Irish war of independence. Despite being labelled 'anti-British' by critics born 60 years after these events took place, the incidents depicted in this film have in fact all been documented by the British government and are a matter of historical fact. Events such as the treatment of the local population at the brutal hands of the infamous convict drafted Black and tans force have all been recorded assiduously by both sides in the conflict. And the civil war that followed a decision to allow the mostly protestant north to be a part of the new British welfare state. A clash of ideals, deftly handled by Loach, it's a real pity that so many will have their minds made up before they've even seen the film.
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