In the name of the father,
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This review is from: Double: In The Name Of The Father/The Boxer [DVD] (DVD)
I well remember the Guildford bombing when the IRA blew up a crowded public house that was often frequented by soldiers stationed nearby and how pleased everyone was when the perpetrators were seemingly caught and banged up for a very long time. It was only many years later that the public were gradually made aware by campaigners of the nature of the evidence against the Guildford Four and how it was gathered by the police. Two of the Guildford Four spent fifteen years in prison before being released after a retrial revealed that there had been a major miscarriage of justice. The miscarriage was made even worse as one of the convicted people, Guiseppe Conlon, died an innocent man in prison. At the time when the bomb went off in Guildford the two men who were supposed to have carried out the atrocity were in a London park with a homeless man whose statement to the police was never shown to the defence or anyone else for that matter and was only seen by accident many years later.
Daniel Day Lewis is great as Gerry Conlon who was a petty thief but no IRA bomber and Pete Postlethwaite is terrific as his father, the tragic figure of Guiseppe Conlon, an honest hard working man who like others were caught up in the affair because they were known to Gerry Conlon. Apparently, some of the scenes in the film never took place such as the Conlon's appearing to spend many years together in the same cell and this could weaken the film's authenticity in the eyes of some people but it does not alter the fact that a miscarriage of justice had certainly occured. Corin Redgrave is very good as the policeman in charge of the investigation who is desperate to put somebody away for the crime and it did not seem to bother him who it was and how it was done. It is a very well staged film, exciting and absorbing and it reinforces how fortunate we are that the situation in Northern Ireland is far more peaceful and that any repeat of such things is now highly unlikely.
After watching the film I could not help wondering not only about how many miscarriages of justice may have occured that we don't know about but also how many terrorists who have a lot of innocent blood on their hands spent so little time behind bars because they were released early as a result of the agreement between the British Government and the paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland. In order to get peace this was necessary but it still leaves a nasty taste in the mouth and I suppose it was the price some of the people living there had to pay to stop the bloodshed.