1 December 1998 | Andy-140
I disliked this film intensely and left during the scene where the loyalist gang are shot up by the British. The film effectively blames the people of NI as being the cause of their own troubles. It suggests that the 25 year war was a question of intransigence and nothing to do with Britain's partition of Ireland and domination of its history i.e. NI was created by Britain in 1921 irrespective of the wishes of the rest of Ireland.
The characters are portrayed as hapless fools, even though I despise loyalist paramilitaries they were fighting for a cause - maintaining their artificial privileges over the Catholic community. It is a known fact that British Intelligence collaborated with loyalists during the war, no doubt to keep the Catholics at bay and demoralise republicanism.
Nineties' values about 'machismo', masculinity etc are transposed on to 1970s Belfast and are portrayed as part of the supposedly unique Irish 'psyche' which leads to violence. The stupid song from the woman in the club - old Ireland of green fields ..blah..blah.. - is given a symbolic stature, i.e. poor young fools fighting for an impossible cause. Tedious, ahistorical, cheap and nasty trash. O'Sullivan has made a personal statement on a conflict which requires serious political analysis.