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Bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday
Actors: James Nesbitt, Tim Pigott-Smith, Nicholas Farrell, Allan Gildea, Gerard Crossan
Director: Paul Greengrass
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
R     2003     1hr 47min

With breathtaking verisimilitude, Bloody Sunday posits an immediate, you-are-there re-creation of Ireland's most controversial contemporary tragedy. From dusk to dawn, the events of January 30, 1972, are presented in co...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: James Nesbitt, Tim Pigott-Smith, Nicholas Farrell, Allan Gildea, Gerard Crossan
Director: Paul Greengrass
Creators: Paul Greengrass, Arthur Lappin, Don Mullan, Jim Sheridan, Keith Evans, Mark Redhead, Paul Myler
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/22/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2002
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 47min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 14
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

An Excellent and Unforgettable Experience
Michael Crane | Orland Park, IL USA | 04/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Bloody Sunday" is a remarkable and powerful film; a rare breed of film that makes you wonder why such a gem goes so unrecognized by moviegoers. This is such a well-done and important film that has the ability to re-create history with pure authenticity. One of the best things I did last week was purchase this DVD. As soon as I started it, I knew there was no turning back.I had never heard of the event itself (here's my age showing again). Never even learned about it in high school. As a matter of fact, I'm learning there's LOTS of things I never learned in high school, but back to the movie. "Bloody Sunday" is a documentary-like film that re-creates what transpired on Sunday, January 30th, 1972. In a Civil Rights demonstration in Northern Ireland, British troops opened fire on protesters when things were getting hairy, which would eventually lead to 27 wounded and 13 dead. This was a tragedy that struck a major blow to the Civil Rights movement, and to Ireland and Britain as well.From what I understand, this is still a very controversial topic, even today. Nobody is still 100% sure of what exactly happened. Both sides are still debating and offering their versions of what really went down. I don't know much about the event, as I said in the beginning of this review. What I do know is that this film was done in a very realistic and authentic way, and I believe that what happened on that tragic day might've gone down the way it did in the film, or very close to it. I also believe that the movie shows both sides, not just one.This film was done entirely hand-held, meaning not once did the filmmakers use a dolly or camera stands. The end result is that it gives it the raw and realistic feel that it needs to be affective. There is no story or plot in the movie. The movie isn't there to tell a single story or show us "characters;" the only goal is to try to educate us all on what happened on January 30th. You never look at the actors as actors, but more like the real people themselves. In fact, when I was watching this, I was very convinced that I wasn't watching a movie, but a real documentary.The DVD comes equipped with some very nice special features. Those being two commentary tracks and 2 documentary features. That may not sound like a lot, but when you view or hear them, you feel very satisfied. It would've been nice to have a few more extras, but I can't really complain. Nor do I want to.I really believe the filmmakers when they say that they did not make "Bloody Sunday" to open old wounds. They want to educate us all on what happened and they want us to confront it. Much like when an addict has a problem but he or she won't admit it, the problem will never come to a resolution if we continue to ignore it. I urge every history teacher to make their students watch this movie. I urge EVERYONE I know to give this movie a try. It is a rare and unique gem that takes historical films to a new level that it has never reached before. It's a shame that not many have seen it, but my hope is that more people will see it now since it is available to own and rent on DVD and video. "Bloody Sunday" is an experience you will never forget, and it is an important one you do not want to miss out on. Definitely makes my Top 10 of 2002 list, without question."
Gripping take on a horrific day in history
S. Calhoun | Chicago, IL United States | 10/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Familiar with the famous U2 song, "Sunday Bloody Sunday"?? Well, here's a look at the events that inspired that song.On January 30, 1972 Catholics living in the Northern Ireland's city of Derry march for human rights denied under British rule. But this wasn't an ordinary march by any means. Thirteen marchers were shot dead during what was later termed "Bloody Sunday".This movie alternates between both sides of the firing line. Efforts of the march's organizers leading up to the march along with several young men who participated in the march are captured. In addition, the military readiness of the British soldiers is also revealed. This movie unveils savage acts of the British soldiers as they fire upon the defenseless crowd. I recommend this movie to anyone who is interested in this horrific day. It will make you think twice about the role of the military in Northern Ireland."
A harsh and human look at a terrible historical tragedy
Joe Sixpack -- | Middle America | 09/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"An emotionally crushing recreation of the infamous January 30, 1972 clash between British troops and Irish protesters in the town of Derry, which led to the deaths of dozens of civilian marchers. "Clash" is perhaps too strong a word -- this film (as well as several abortive inquiries) makes a strong case that the testosterone-amped British "para" soldiers simply went berserk and shot people at random, in hopes of "teaching them a lesson they'd never forget." The distinction between IRA warmongers and the civilian civil rights movement was apparently lost of the embattled English, but their actions at Derry helped lock the Catholic-Protestant feud into place right up to the present day. Filmically, this is an impressive work: the documentary-style handheld camera work, which seems a bit mannered and distracting in the first part of the film, pays off handsomely when the violence starts -- the fear and chaos of the event is made palpable in a suprisingly visceral manner... it's like a punch to the gut when the shooting starts.... and then it worsens and keeps on going for what seems like an eternity. Regardless of what you think of the filmmaker's political slant, the skill with which they built this film's dramatic impact is undeniable. Viewers will have to make up their own minds about what they believe actually happened that day, but this film proides a convincing argument on behalf of the civilian victims. Highly recommended."
Gripping cinema verite triumph
Roland E. Zwick | Valencia, Ca USA | 06/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One of the outstanding films of 2002!The events of January 30, 1972 are familiar to most people primarily through the U2 song "Sunday Bloody Sunday." On that fateful, tragic day, a peaceful march for civil rights in Northern Ireland ended in a horrifying massacre when British troops opened fire on the demonstrators. Now, three extraordinary filmmakers - writer/director Paul Greengrass, cinematographer Ivan Strasburg, and editor Clare Douglas - have pooled their talents to give us their view of this watershed incident, one that so enraged Northern Irish Catholics that it ended up strengthening the hand of the IRA and heightening anti-British sentiment in that part of the world."Bloody Sunday" is reminiscent of those great films from the 1960's like "The Battle of Algiers" and "Z," wherein the filmmakers successfully recreate a moment of terrifying violence in purely cinematic terms. By employing a handheld camera throughout, Greengrass achieves the kind of reality and immediacy that is only possible through cinema verite style. The camera bobs and weaves, becoming a major character in the drama. Indeed, the film feels very much like a documentary feature recorded at the actual event itself. The filmmakers do an amazing job staging the complex action, managing to view the incident from widely varied vantage points - from the marchers in the crowd, to the policemen standing by for trouble (and fomenting most of it themselves), to the demonstration's organizers, to the troop leaders at command center where the decisions for action are ostensibly being made. The crowd scenes are so well handled in this film that they could easily become a textbook case study for future filmmakers seeking to make movies in a similar vein. Greengrass also heightens the verisimilitude of the work by resisting the temptation to employ a background musical score. Instead, the "soundtrack" of the film is composed of the perpetually ringing telephones that subtly reflect the extraordinary import of the moment.Because Greengrass' main concern is in getting the physical details of the incident right, less time is, understandably, devoted to character development. Nevertheless, he still manages to bring a few of his key people to life, particularly Ivan Cooper, a member of Parliament who organized the march, a man whose guiding philosophy is that people must have the right to protest peacefully to achieve social justice. Ivan serves as the focal point for the audience, as we come to identify with his commitment, his passion, his level-headedness and his genuine concern for the people he represents. James Nesbitt does a beautiful job conveying the humanity of this Gandhi-like central figure. Greengrass also allows us to see, in telling glimpses, the differing attitudes that prevail among the citizenry of the town as well as among the policemen - both those giving the orders and those executing them - towards what is happening on screen. Indeed, there is nothing less than a superb performance in the entire cast. (In an interesting moment of visual irony, the camera catches a glimpse of a movie marquee with the words "Sunday Bloody Sunday" emblazoned on it - a reference to the famous John Schlesinger film from 1971).Some people may have trouble with this film on two counts - one ideological and the other technical. There are some who may see the movie as somewhat one-sided, biased and slanted, since clearly the British troops are seen as the Bad Guys in the incident. More serious, perhaps, is the fact that the Irish accents are so thick that those of us unaccustomed and unattuned to them may find a significant portion of the dialogue garbled and incomprehensible. That being the case, it is a blessing that the film's greatest virtues lie in its visuals."Bloody Sunday" is an exciting, brilliantly executed tour de force that reminds us of just how powerful cinema verite can be. This is, easily, one of the very best films of recent years."