An examination of the aftermath of the 1998 real ira bombing that killed 29 people in omagh northern ireland. Studio: Arts Alliance America Release Date: 02/26/2008 Starring: Gerard Mcsorley Brenda Fricker Run time: 10... more »6 minutes« less
Angela F. from CHARLOTTESVLE, VA Reviewed on 8/14/2011...
How did we miss this one? Such a nuanced and powerful drama. A profound story, still very relevant today, not only in Ireland, but everywhere. The performances, the story, and the directing are all first-rate.
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...get me out of this hell
Junglies | Morrisville, NC United States | 10/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How do you write a review when you cannot find the words to experience what you have witnessed?
Having just sat through this rivetting, compelling drama I find myself pretty much at a loss for words. It is almost as if you empathise with everything the characters went through in this gritty portrayl of the terrible events that literally and metaphorically shook the town of Omagh those few short years ago.
You share the grief stricken anxiety of waiting for news of the son whose family story lies at the heart of this tale. After all of the carnage and bloodshed which has appeared on television screens in recent years it is impossible to stay dry eyed as events unfold in this harrowing story.
The subject matter is difficult, the lessons learned are hard. The search for conclusion by these families is traumatic and very painful. This portrayal is a testament to the film makers and to the actors involved as well as to the strength, determination and resolve of the inhabitants of the city.
To me the film makes us all look deep inside ourselves and question our views and attitudes to the issues it raises and puts those views into stark relief.
This is a powerful and moving drama. I am not convinced that the rating is adequate for the harrowing scenes of the explosion and it's aftermath. Most people never experience the appalling horror of a terrorist attack. After viewing this extraordinary account we should all think twice about the sort of world we want for ourselves and for our children.
For me this is by far and away the best movie I have seen at least this year."
"You're in the way of the Peace Process, Michael"
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 10/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"On August 15th, 1998, 3 months after the Good Friday Peace Settlement, a 500 lb. car bomb exploded in the town of Omagh, killing 29 people (one who was expecting twins), and injuring 160. It was the "the most grave and exceptional crime in the history of Northern Ireland," and rumors of government conspiracy and cover-up continue to this day. "Omagh" starts in the early morning hours of the 15th, with the terrorists preparing the bomb, the deadly, horrific scene of the explosion, which was made worse by the misinformed police directing the people towards the bomb instead of away from it. It continues with the inexpressible grief of the families seeking their loved ones in the aftermath. The central focus of the film is the story of Michael Gallagher, who lost his 21 year-old son Aiden in the blast, and to this day seeks justice that is hard to come by, as many government officials from both sides have seemingly stalled the process. Gallagher was told that the Peace Process was more important, and we see his frustration dealing with the authorities as the spokesman for the bereaved families.
Directed by Pete Travis, this is a wrenching film with marvelous performances, notably by Gerard McSorley as Gallagher, and Michelle Forbes as his wife Patsy. Brenda Fricker has a small but pivotal role as Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan, who uncovered much of the details behind the government inaction. "Omagh" is a riveting but sometimes flawed film, and should be seen for its historical value for those interested in the many years of Troubles in Ireland, and the timely topic of terrorism worldwide. I needed to use the subtitle option, not because of the Irish accents, but because the audio is unbalanced, and at times inaudible. Another quibble is the print used for the titles, credits, and most importantly the aftermath update, is so small it is illegible on my 27" screen. Information on this incident is widely available on the internet however, and one can read that justice has been slow and meager. Total running time is 106 minutes. "
A Poignant Reminder of Northern Ireland's Troubled Past
Timothy Kearney | Hull, MA United States | 03/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
The bombing in Omagh August of 1998 caught most of the world by surprise. It seemed as if the peace accords were off to a good start and the tragic bombing of the center of this Northern Irish city potentially put the good work started to a halt. Fortunately the bombing in Omagh was handled somewhat differently than other bombings and the people themselves made certain that their cause was not ignored. Justice ahs been slow and in many cases delayed, but the aftermath of the bombing did show the world that the "Troubles" could possibly become a memory of the past. The film OMAGH chronicles the bombing and its aftermath.
This film version of the story of Omagh starts Gerard Mc Sorley as Michael Gallagher, a father who looses his teenaged son in the bombing. Gallagher is no stranger to loss. In 1984 he lost a brother to an IRA bombing which was never settled and he made certain the same would not happen with his son. The film focuses on the outraged people of the city. We see the conflicts between those who immediately want to blame the British and those who believe they have a more enlightened attitude. We see old prejudices surface as well as cover-ups by the governments of Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The film shows the ups and downs of the people as well as their reactions to the news that much of the information and evidence that could catch those responsible was destroyed in a misguided belief by many that forgetting the matter would somehow lead to peace.
The film is moving due in no small part to its simple plot and its sparseness. There are no surprising plot twists which allows the viewer to remain focused on the story. This is not a "forty shades of green" kind of film where the beauty of Ireland is breathtaking. We do get a sense of the beauty of the land, but this is a working class area that seems to be all but forgotten. This starkness is a perfect backdrop for the film. At the beginning we meet Gallagher's son Aidan, a likeable but not spectacular kid, like any kids on the street. Immediately we feel the loss when we discover his death, reminding us that those lost had people who loved them and their deaths were significant. We understand the toll the loss takes on Michael, as well as his family. OMAGH is a powerful film that will reverberate in the minds and hearts of those who love Ireland, mourn for its often turbulent past, and hope for the wonderful future it so richly deserves. "
P.K. Ryan | Albany, NY USA | 08/05/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"'Omagh' is the heart-wrenching true story of the 1998 terrorist bombing in Omagh, Northern Ireland and it's aftermath. The simple but well-crafted film follows a man named Michael Gallagher and his family after his son Aidan is killed in the blast which took the lives of 29 civilians. The bombing was carried out by "The Real IRA," an offshoot of the original IRA who did not support the peace process agreed to by the latter. There is very little historical context, so anyone looking to learn the background of "The Troubles" will not find it here. Instead, it is a moving story about the real effects of terrorism on innocent people caught in the middle of political warfare. The film maintains a very somber tone throughout, and I agree with the other reviewers about the lack of sentimentality. There is little action or suspense, and one could hardly describe the film as exciting. The film is more of an experience rather than "entertainment." The only shot of the picturesque Irish landscape is in the opening scene, where the bombers are shown driving through the breath-taking, yet dreary Irish countryside. The most moving part of the film is the immediate aftermath of the bombing, where Gallagher desperately searches for his missing son, only to have his worst fear confirmed. This leads Gallagher to form a support group for the victim's families and embark on a mission to bring the killers to justice. This is far from a heart-warming film, and it leaves the viewer with an empty feeling, along with a sense that true justice will always take a backseat to politics and abstractions."
Joshua D. Jones | Nottingham, UK | 08/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm actually an immigrant to Northern Ireland. I live half an hour from Omagh and I found the film helpful in understanding a bit of the areas history. Most of the local people recount the story just like it goes down in the movie. I have friends here who lost relatives in the bombing and they testify to the intensity of the tragety which is well portrayed in the movie."