There are few more controversial subjects in Britain than ‘the Troubles‘ in Northern Ireland and the activities of the IRA.
It was therefore extremely bold of Jim Sheridan, the Irish director of My Left Foot (1989), to bring In The Name Of The Father to the screen.
But although this compelling drama attacks the British justice system over wrongfully convicting the Guildford Four – those men imprisoned for many years for pub bombings, and eventually released – it focusses on one particularly poignant father-son relationship.
Daniel Day Lewis, again revealing his wide acting range, is Gerry Conlon, the troubled Belfast youth whose father (Peter Postlethwaite) is also imprisoned when he comes to his son’s aid.
Emma Thompson plays Gareth Pierce, the lawyer who finally gets them exonerated.
The film isn’t 100% accurate – it considerably overplays the role of Peirce in clearing the innocent prisoners’ names – but its ferocious criticism of a grave misjustice make it a great political work, and a deserving winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.
Sheridan, Day-Lewis, Postlethwaite, Thompson and the film itself were all nominated for Oscars.
Chief Police Officer Barker