Sunday, 30 January, 1972 changed the course of Ulster's Troubles, as British paratroopers shot and killed 13 unarmed civilians in Londonderry's Bogside.
Writer/director Paul Greengrass impressively recreates the fateful events, cross-cutting between a range of individuals involved. There's Ivan Cooper (James Nesbitt), the moderate Ulster Unionist MP leading the afternoon's civil rights march; a teenage Catholic "stone-thrower" (Gerard McSorley) with a Protestant girlfriend; an inexperienced Para (Mike Edwards); and the Brigadier (Nicholas Farrell) in charge of the operation, pressured by his superiors to deploy "maximum aggression".
The cinematic template for Bloody Sunday is The Battle Of Algiers, - hence the mainly non-professional cast (which includes relatives of victims and former soldiers), the authentic locations, and the vivid, hand-held camerawork. Refusing to traffic in simplistic caricatures, this powerfully urgent drama spotlights the strategic and tactical errors that lay behind the army's fateful actions, and the British government's subsequent shameful cover-up.
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