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’71 (2014)

71 (2014)

An English squaddie (Jack O’Connell) is dropped into Belfast to assist the RUC  in protecting the Catholic population from the B Specials in 1971.  A house to house search goes dramatically wrong and he ends up on the run taking succour wherever he can find it in the midst of growing unrest in the city where everyone is turning on everyone else.  In this contemporary version of Odd Man Out, we learn a sad truth about the so-called Troubles – the intelligence masters were infiltrating the Provos, the terrorists were turning on themselves and there was high-level manipulation in the fomenting of a war that should never have occurred (and goes on to this today with the Let’s Forget About It, Shall We, alleged Peace Agreement with psychotic mass murderers walking the streets of the Republic as a result). This is the least sentimental and most truthful of this sub-genre and a credit to writer Gregory Burke and director Yann Demange.  Above all, it’s a cracking thriller with wonderful performances and a real sense of place (it was shot in the North – of England.) Probably the film of the year,

About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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