The new film of Ken Loach is narrating a part of the history of Irish and British combat. It starts demonstrating the British regime of violence and oppression that eventually pushes the Irish peasants over the limit and drives them into resistance and action. Young boys, farmers are trained by IRA in order to sabotage and kill English soldiers. Killing the others, the Englishmen, is relatively easy for these lads that have been filled with hate and anger after years of mistreatment. Eventually the English army withdraws. A new conflict begins- this time- among the Irish. A civil war is always described as a war between brothers and this is also demonstrated in the Ken Loach film. The two brothers- the main film characters- take the opposite sites and the one is eventually executed by the other.
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Ken Loach manages to impress on his film all the markings of a good director: beautiful images, careful framing, suspense and good rhythm, emotionality. The film however has a fling for melodrama, and ends up being a little bit vacant. When you watch it you are sufficiently drawn into it but when the film finishes what does remain? Unfortunately nothing lingers. Ken Loach fails to create a film that will take all these well-known and accepted truths and make us see them in a new enhanced light, make us think them over one more time, experience again and acknowledge them from the beginning. It is a pity because these truths are really important and we shouldn’t forget them or take them as given.