Archive for the ‘“Bloody Sunday”’ Category

Luck of the Irish Republican Army

The Northern Ireland conflict is an extremely complex situation that has blurred the line between political activist and terrorist for decades. During this time, the media has had an important role in shaping the public’s perception of the events and what to make of the many factions in play. Read more

That’s Not Fair

In response to a number of perceived injustices perpetrated by the British Government, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) organized what was intended to be a peaceful protest march through the town of Derry. However, the word “peaceful” utterly fails to describe the events that transpired that Sunday, January 30 1972. By the time it was over, twenty-seven civilian protestors had been shot by British military gunfire, leaving thirteen dead. Bloody Sunday, as the day came to be known, has lived on in the hearts and minds of Irish nationalists as a symbol… Read more

A Critical Analysis of the Religio-Political Conflict in “Bloody Sunday”

Paul Greengrass’s dramatic documentary, Bloody Sunday, depicts the savage attacks of the British military against unarmed Irish citizens, which resulted in the immediate deaths of thirteen innocent protesters and the wounding of fourteen more. January 30, 1972 will forever represent the atrocities committed by a few armed soldiers unfettered by the restraints of rational action. Although the “mockumentary” mainly focuses on Ivan Cooper, Northern Ireland’s former Member of Parliament and founder of the SDLP (Social Democratic and Labor Party), the filmmakers attempted to illustrate the intense religious, political, and social turmoil prevalent amongst a multitude of social groups in Northern Ireland. Read more

No Real Winners

The beauty of creating a piece of complete fiction, especially in the film industry, is that the director has the freedom to create a story without limitations. The characters, the events, and the way the story unfolds is in the hands of those who envisioned the work.

On the other end, when a film is based on an actual event of historical proportions, the intense scrutiny a filmmaker faces leaves little margin for error. In the film “Bloody Sunday,” director Paul Greengrass uses documentary-style storytelling to invite audiences into the 1972 tragedy, while delivering the events in an utterly real yet fair assessment of the still unsettled controversy.

Because the term “documentary” is reserved for a body of work that incorporates footage and interviews of the actual event and people involved, the film “Bloody Sunday” is masterfully crafted to appear not as a piece of Hollywood fiction, but as a documentary itself. One critic wrote: “by setting up this style early on, we get the real feeling of chaos, uncertainly, horror and dizziness that would most-likely accompany the experience of living through that horrific day” (

While Ivan Cooper is trying to calm the “hooligans” who have broken off from the peaceful march, his raw emotions of panic and desperation hit the screen from many different camera angles, leaving the audience feelings as if they are in the middle of the crowd, rubbing shoulders with Cooper as he pleads with the men to abandon their misguided strategy.

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Terrorism and the Press

This blog is an integral part of a special section of Honors 394 Spring 2010, Arizona State University. Rather than a routine history course this dynamic, interactive seminar explores the interplay between terrorism and television, and other media sources on-line and in print. 26 students and their global pen pals comprise the bloggers. We welcome all to share their opinions, pertinent observations, insights, comments, feedback. Please post in a responsible manner.