Titanic Town review

Set on a Belfast housing estate during the turbulent early '70s, Titanic Town is a movie adaptation of a true-life novel. When housewife Bernie McPhelimy (Julie Walters) moves into a Republican controlled estate, she behaves the same as everyone else, obstructing the British army whenever she can and tolerating the armed Provos who roam the estate at night and take potshots at helicopters from her front lawn.

But when one of her friends is killed in broad daylight by a stray shot from an IRA sniper, Bernie appears on a TV news item saying she thinks the IRA should restrict their activity to night-time, when civilians are more likely to be off the street. A logical comment, but one that is perceived as open criticism of the IRA. In such a closely knit community, it's an unforgivable act.

Overnight, her family are heckled on the streets for being Loyalist sympathisers, and Bernie is the victim of death threats and mock executions. Yet amazingly, she stays in the public eye and continues to argue for greater tolerance. The strain shows, with her ailing husband's health getting worse and her teenage daughter becoming increasingly alienated.

It's an engrossing tale of one woman's attempt to overcome fear and intimidation, but the obvious lack of budget impacts greatly on the look of the film, making its more logical home a rental shelf rather than the big screen.

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