The 1972 “Bloody Sunday” shootings in Derry, Northern Ireland. The drama shows the events through the eyes of Ivan Cooper, the Protestant Stormont Member of Parliament who was a central organizer of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association march in Derry on 30 January 1972.
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A whirlwind of brutality, dehumanization, and most importantly realism. This film is an incredible exercise in documentary-realism and for anybody who supports the republican movement in Northern Ireland, it certainly leaves your stomach in knots and your heart heavy. Although semi-fictionalized, the story is heartbreaking. James Nesbitt carries the weight of thousands on his shoulders and in his face.
Pushing the shakey-cam documentary mode to its limits, this film chronicles a domestic travesty from the heart of where it happened. Building on eye-witness accounts, the 'official' accounts, all draped in the fug of a nascent civil war. James Nesbitt turns in a superb performance, and despite later accolades Paul Greengrass will be hard pushed to ever top this.
I've seldom been affected this much by a film. It left me with a knot in my stomach and tears in my eyes. Such unfairness, such brutality, such horror. What Greengrass has done in portraying this event is simply masterful.
Apart from the police/military HQ, it's amazing how successfully Greengrass combined the aesthetics of documentary and first person shooter game making it feel like we're tuning live into war reportage, and at the same time not forgetting the characters, especially in mass scenes were it really felt like everyone seen on screen is not only an extra but a full rounded character and a real human being as well.