The Hands of Bresson

Sundry observations on the art of cinema and world film culture

Troubles Every Day

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Five Minutes of Heaven

“Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Five Minutes of Heaven deals indirectly with the Troubles, the legacy of violence that engulfed Northern Ireland for three decades until the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 put an official end to the discord. Though this history is vividly invoked in gritty newsreel footage in the film’s opening minutes, and plays a crucial role in the backstory of Hirschbiegel’s fraught protagonists—one Protestant, the other Catholic—the true subject of his arid, minimal social drama is not violence or politics, but the more delicate act of healing. Or rather, the possibility of rapprochement between adversaries. Instead of pitching us headlong into the past and fastening onto heroic intrigue, like the new Fifty Dead Men Walking, Hirschbiegel limns the present-day inner turmoil of two men linked by fate. One is a killer, the other his victim’s brother. It’s a gaunt two-man show, told in three acts.”

Click here to read the rest of this review at Reverse Shot.

Written by eyemaster

August 21, 2009 at 1:32 pm

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