Hidden Agenda (1990)

R   |    |  Drama, Thriller


Hidden Agenda (1990) Poster

When an American human rights lawyer is assassinated in Belfast, it remains for the man's girlfriend, as well as a tough, no nonsense, police detective to find the truth.


6.9/10
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21 February 2014 | lee_eisenberg
9
| conspiracy of lies
Ken Loach has made a career out of directing movies about politically charged topics. A lot of his movies have addressed class issues in the United Kingdom, but he has also looked at foreign policy. One example is "Hidden Agenda", about an investigation into the murder of a human rights lawyer in Belfast. Loach not only indicts the British occupation, but also finds time to take a swipe at Margaret Thatcher's government.* While I was watching the movie I assumed that it was based on the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane. It turns out that the movie is a fictional story, but it still makes sure to show the sorts of things that had become commonplace in Northern Ireland. I read that Loach had the cast members meet with people who had gotten abused by British forces to give them an idea of what the movie was dealing with.

Ken Loach also looked at Ireland in "The Wind that Shakes the Barley", about Ireland's war for independence in the early 20th century. Both movies take unflinching looks at what the English did to the Irish for over 800 years. To be certain, "Hidden Agenda" features a scene that should give people pause in the era of the so called war on terrorism: a man sings a song that has the line "you take our land and call us terrorists for resisting". I recommend the movie. Other movies focusing on Northern Ireland that I recommend are "In the Name of the Father", "Bloody Sunday" and "Breakfast on Pluto".

*After Thatcher died, Loach proposed that her funeral should be privatized, since she would've wanted it that way.

Critic Reviews



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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 'Six Irishmen,' mentioned by Sir Robert Neil of MI5 (with politician Alec Nevin) to Kerrigan is in reference to the 'Birmingham Six.' In 1974 the pub Tavern In The Town and Mulberry Bush, in Birmingham England, was bombed, killing 21 persons and injuring 182 people. The police picked up the nearest six Irishmen and subjected them to 'in-depth interrogation' to obtain false confessions. Patrick Hill, Gerard Hunter, Richard McIlkenny, William Power, John Walker and Hugh Callaghan all served 16 horrific years in jail until the convictions were overturned in 1991. Hugh Callaghan details his ordeal in the book, *Cruel Fate,* co-authored with Sally Mulready in 1994-1995. The movie In the Name of the Father (1993), was based on the Guildford Four, who were similarly jailed using false confessions, along with members of their extended family living in London. That's how the Brits induced Gerry Conlon, Daniel Day-Lewis' character, to confess, by throwing his father, aunts, uncles, and cousins in jail, too. Members of the Guildford Four ordeal were released in 1989 and 1991, where illegal police tactics and hidden evidence were brought to light. The appeals trials of the Guildford Four paved the way for the release of the Birmingham Six, who were in jail longer, and their pleas for appeals were ignored, and never heard until after the Guildford Four / Conlon Family convictions were finally thrown out. All of the innocent Birmingham Six and Guildford Four were still in jail at the time this movie was released.


Quotes

Paul Sullivan: I don't believe it.
Ingrid Jessner: Tribal rites.
Paul Sullivan: It's frightening.


Soundtracks

Joe McDonnell
Written by Brian Warfield
Re-arranged by
Ron Kavana
Performed by Ron Kavana and Terry Woods
Published by Skin Music

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Drama | Thriller

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