"Bloody Sunday" Is Released

Bloody Sunday is a 2002 television film about the 1972 "Bloody Sunday" shootings in Derry, Northern Ireland.

Although produced by Granada Television as a TV film, its cinematic potential was noted and it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on 16 January, a few days before its screening on ITV on 20 January, and then in selected London cinemas from 25 January. The production was written and directed by Paul Greengrass. Though set in Derry city, the film was actually shot in Ballymun in North Dublin. However, some location scenes were shot in Derry City, in Guildhall Square and in Creggan on the actual route of the march of 1972.

The writer-director Paul Greengrass's magnetic and impassioned melodrama re-creates the 1972 outbreak of violence during a pro-I.R.A. civil-rights march in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The director presents the attitudes and the events leading to the horrible clash with a tense, self-aware propulsion — it's like a Brechtian newsreel. Mr. Greengrass makes things move even faster by assembling it as a series of blackouts, and all the cuts build a charged thoughtfulness reminiscent of Costa-Gavras's "Z." The level of accomplishment in the filmmaking is overwhelming, because in addition to the flash-cut boldness, it's an earthy epic like Gillo Pontecorvo's "Battle of Algiers." The dramatic scheme of "Sunday" is established with deft simplicity, but the movie doesn't oversimplify the conflicts. — Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times