A dramatisation of the Irish civil rights protest march and subsequent massacre.
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Thirty years ago on 30th January in Derry in Northen Ireland in a march that was intended as a peaceful demonstration against the denial of civil rights to Catholics, a catastrophe happened. It`s not known as Bloody Sunday for nothing.... Ivan Cooper, James Nesbitt, is the local member for the Bogside area of Derry and he`s determined to march peacefully for civil rights. However the British Army which has a significant presence in this troubled area orders such marches illegal. Crossing between events in Bogside as Ivan Cooper begins to realise the dangers involved in proceeding with the march and the British command headquarters where, despite a more moderate attitude by Brigadeer McLennan, Nicholas Farrel, there`s a rigidity in his superior Brigadier General Ford, Tim Piggot-Smith, which seems to be filtering down through the ranks. This reconstruction of historical events from a vested interest point of view ultimately distances us, the audience. The whole film has been shot as if the cameraman was on the frontline in a war zone, and while that may be fine for a 3 minute news broadcast it`s a visual assault in a film that`s way over 90 minutes. Also the approach by writer/director Paul Greengrass is towards pastiche, the viewer is deliberately kept at a distance from details, we only hear snatches of conversation - and that Irish accent is sometimes indecipherable - as if we were not intelligent enough as an audience to fully grasp the details. But despite my irritation with this film, I do admit that ultimately it does have a power in its message, it was a tragic day in the history of Northern Ireland, a history that is still in turmoil.