I confess I was, many times.
Most probably, though, the worst case of all is my huge interest for the Irish Troubles.
Don’t ask me why, but since a very young age I started reading anything about the long and tiresome internal war between catholic and protestant in Northern Ireland. I believe I read every novel and seen every movie on this subject. I also have my own ideas about the best novel written about it (Eureka Street by Robert McLiam Wilson) and the best movie made about it (Hunger by Steve McQueen).
I am talking about the movie ’71 by Yann Demange.
The movie is about a 24 years old British soldier, Gary Hook, who is sent to Belfast in 1971, together with a bunch of very young comrades, to keep under control the explosive situation between catholic and protestant. Clearly enough, nobody knows, even his superiors, how to deal with this strange war. During his first mission in the earth of the catholic enclave, something goes wrong and Gary and another guy are left in the hands of the “enemies”. The other guy is shot to death, but Gary manages to escape. Alone, scared, injured, the guy can count only on himself and on his lucky star to get out of that awful and nightmarish situation. Will he be able to survive?
Catholic and protestant are put on the same level, here. The movie is quite smart in elucidating complex situations with simple shortcuts: yes, it is a bad war, yes, there are bastards on both sides, yes, instead of solving it, there were people willing to make it worse, and yes, too many families have been uselessly devastated. I have to say that this approach was very refreshing and at the same time even more powerful in dragging you in this unbelievable hell.
In the distance, Belfast and his fires shine of a new light.
All of a sudden, I have a new film in my top five of best movies about the Irish Troubles!