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Award Winning Film, 'Bloody Sunday,'
To Screen at UW-Eau Claire

 MAILED:  April 21, 2003

EAU CLAIRE - "Bloody Sunday" (U.K. 2002) - a documentary-style drama relating the events that led to British soldiers shooting dead 13 unarmed civilians during a civil rights march in Northern Ireland in 1972 - will screen May 1-4 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Winner of an audience award at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, the film will be presented at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday in Davies Theatre. Film critic Kenneth Turan called the film "a compelling, gut-clutching piece of advocacy cinema that carries you along in a torrent of emotion as it explores the awful complications of one terrifying day."

On January 30, 1972, British soldiers opened fire on civilians taking part in an anti-internment civil rights march in Derry, Northern Ireland. This event, Bloody Sunday, was a major turning point in the history of the modern Irish troubles, catapulting the conflict into a civil war, driving many young men into the ranks of the IRA and fueling a 25-year cycle of violence.

Paul Greengrass' film tells the story of Bloody Sunday in just one day from dawn till dusk, from the arrival of thousands of troops on the streets of the besieged city to the violent collision between soldiers from the crack Paratroop Regiment and the crowds of civilian demonstrators.

The film follows the British soldiers and the police, as well as civilians from both sides of the religious sectarian divide. It focuses in particular on the stories of four men:

Tim Pigott-Smith costars as the ultra-confident Maj. Gen. Robert Ford, who is determined to take a hard line on the day's activities, which are illegal under rules that prohibit marching.

"Bloody Sunday" is a war film about the struggle for peace. Shot in a vivid, ultra-realistic style, on the streets and in the crowds, in the command posts and in the alleyways, with the stone-throwers and the activists, the generals and the private soldiers. In its extremely focused timeframe but epic scale, the film is a portrait of the collision between the unstoppable force and the immovable object that is the 700-year conflict between Britain and Ireland. It is also, in the confrontation between a powerful army and a besieged and rebellious city, a timeless and universal story with echoes across the globe and throughout history.

"Bloody Sunday" shared the Golden Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival with the next film to be presented on the International Film Series, "Spirited Away" (May 8-11).

Tickets are $2 for International Film Society members and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff and $1 for UW-Eau Claire students at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727.


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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741

Updated: April 21, 2003