After the disastrous defeat of Irish rebels by superior British forces during the Easter Week rebellion of 1916, 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 G-Men, those Irish who work as informers for the British, 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 and Sinn Fein President Eamon de Valera sends a reluctant Collins to London to negotiate a settlement. When Collins returns with a compromise of a divided Ireland and an Irish Free State, not a Republic, 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, not him. Collins is now faced with civil war as he struggles against those who insist on complete freedom for all of Ireland. –IMDb
One of Ireland’s most celebrated directors, Neil Jordan has made his name directing moody, often politically charged films that focus largely on themes of love, betrayal, and the darker realms of the human psyche. Born February 25, 1950, in Sligo County, Ireland, Jordan began his career as an acclaimed fiction writer. He entered the film industry in 1981 as a script consultant on John Boorman’s Excalibur, and subsequently made a documentary about the making of the film. After scripting another film, Traveller, Jordan wrote and directed his first film, the stylish 1982 crime drama Angel. Starring Stephen Rea as a saxophone player who witnesses a series of brutal murders, it explored the darker, violent impulses of the human mind, a theme that Jordan would revisit time and again in his later films. After attracting his first wave of international recognition for In the Company of Wolves (1984), his horror-tinged retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood tale, Jordan had his first real success… read more
Jordan is too much of a poet to tackle this kind of political history head-on, but he should be applauded for attempting to make a film that doesn't conform to the usual hero worship, and refusing to demonize one particular side of the conflict. The film is more about the potential for violence to corrupt. By the end, all the characters have blood on their hands, and their deaths are shown as sad and senseless acts.