In The Name Of The Father
The 20th anniversary version of "In the Name of the Father" has been re-mastered in high definition, still packs a punch and delivers a sadly-familiar cautionary tale.
A handsome, volatile and young Daniel Day-Lewis leads the true tale of Irish petty thief Gerry Conlon as he, three friends and seven family members, two of them in their teens, are framed by rabid anti-IRA British police for a London pub bombing. The seven-time Oscar-nominated film was based on Conlon's book and was written and directed by Jim Sheridan, with music by Bono and Gavin Friday.
The Guildford Four and the Maguire Seven were unlawfully imprisoned in 1974, after confessions were tortured out of them under a "tide of mass hysteria" and the newly-enacted Prevention of Terrorism Act, the UK's precursor to the US "Patriot Act." Both pieces of legislation decimated due process and the civil liberties of all involved. Gerry's father Giuseppe (the forever fabulous Pete Postlethwaite) travels from Belfast to set up a solicitor for his son, and is also imprisoned, where he dies due to lack of medical treatment for his lifelong respiratory issues.
Despite an actual IRA operative taking responsibility for the terrorist attack, only dedicated lawyer Gareth Peirce (Emma Thompson) manages to get the group released 15 years later.
Most of the incarcerated have lived troubled lives after their releases. Tony Blair finally said "sorry for the miscarriage of justice" in 2005, but none of the officers responsible for the torture and obfuscation of evidence were ever tried. Revisit this film to remember the brutality and intimidation of our modern police states. "In the Name of Gitmo," anyone?
"In the Name of the Father"