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Bloody Sunday

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2002 1 Jan
Bloody Sunday
from Film Forum, 11/07/02

Bloody Sunday documents the nightmarish events of January 30, 1972, when British soldiers opened fire on Irish protesters in the Northern Ireland town of Derry, killing 13 and wounding 14 more. (Many readers probably learned about this violent day from the U2 song "Sunday Bloody Sunday.") Director Paul Greengrass stages a shockingly realistic recreation of the massacre, putting the camera right in the middle of the action. While viewers are unsettled, the film leaves most critics deeply moved and highly impressed—religious critics included.

Mike Hertenstein (Cornerstone) says, "Many films have employed a documentary style for key moments; here is an attempt to maintain the effect for the entire film. It works for the action sequences, but the expository sequences sometimes seem a little forced." Still, he concludes, "Any quibbles with style dissipate as the film reaches the climactic moment … we find ourselves joining U2's mournful plea, 'How long must we sing this song?'"