Jimmy’s Hall

Jimmy’s Hall falls into the all too usual trap of being a film set in Ireland that is all about how terrible it is to be in Ireland. No one really seems to be interested in making a film set in Ireland that is about anything which isn’t intrinsically politicised or thematically religious, like robots, killer clowns (without political agendas) or anything like that. It is not that I don’t think these things are important, Philomena, The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Jimmy’s Hall – all dealing with very important issues, but in the end all so bloody depressing. I am not saying put dinosaurs or killer clowns into those movies, I am saying that surely as a nation Ireland has more to say than how awful it is. Jimmy’s Hall does have the interesting aspect of telling the story of a social activist not aligned completely with any of the usual suspects like the Church, or the IRA, but standing for freedom of expression, freedom from oppression and a fairer society. This means that basically everyone hates him and he must try to forge some unsteady alliances to achieve his goals. None the less it’s a refreshing look at a part of history which is so frequently presented as fervently two sided. It’s not going to cheer you up though.

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