Bloody Sunday

From the laughably simplistic politics of many a catchy pop band to the truly awful art of many a politically committed poet, the realms of the aesthetic and the political have often clashed like a plaid skirt and a polka-dotted blouse. Writer/director Paul Greengrass avoids the standard tendency to make simplistic and preachy political films (take note John Sayles and Ken Loach) and instead sticks to action and events to give his story its force. Bloody Sunday presents a documentary-style look at the massacre of Irish civilians during a civil rights march in 1972. That day, which started the worst of "the troubles" is told from the perspective of parliamentarian Ivan Cooper, British Major General John Ford and the soldiers and protesters who came into violent conflict. Alternately confusing and compelling, Bloody Sunday delivers a mean emotional gut-punch that may be more than most audiences are interested in taking. Still, it’s an interesting experiment, taking place entirely in one day and treating a people, rather than a person, as its lead character.

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