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The Patriot Game
A Film by Arthur MacCaig
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Rich in emotional images, often tender but more often terrifying, THE PATRIOT GAME tells the story of the long and bitter battle for Northern Ireland.

The film's introduction covers Ireland's history from British colonization to the territory's division in 1922. THE PATRIOT GAME then details the events of the decade that began in 1968. Through powerful portraits of rebellion and eyewitness accounts of killings and such massacres as the infamous "Bloody Sunday," the film shows the IRA at work - much of it filmed clandestinely - as they argue their cause which, in this country and in most of the world, has gone unheard.

"Thorough and thoughtful... Mr. MacCaig's film, by dissecting the situation so coolly, helps emphasize the anguish, the bitterness and the confusion. Regardless of how one may feel about its politics, it is a worthy and well made documentary."—Janet Maslin, New York Times

"The best overview of the Northern Irish conflict that we've seen... a lucid and knowledgeable introduction put together with skill and sensitivity."—B. Ruby Rich, Chicago Reader

"This extraordinary and moving documentary reviews ten years of armed warfare by the IRA and places today's headlines in their proper political and economic context. Through vivid footage of street battles and interviews with participants, THE PATRIOT GAME forcefully debunks the twin myths that the IRA is a 'terrorist organization' fighting 'a religious war.'"—Kevin J. Kelley, The Guardian

"An excellent example of political cinema, rich in emotional images, a film which is both tender and powerful."—Morando Morandini, Il Giorno (Milan)

"Informative, vivid, and partisan. The footage of urban guerillas is extraordinary. I've seen a number of films on Northern Ireland, none have depicted the situation this graphically."—J. Hoberman, Village Voice

"An important historical background to the Irish War."—Gordon Hitchens, Variety

"THE PATRIOT GAME captures the raw spirit of Irish nationalist resistance and shows, for the first time, incidents which the British media have steadfastly refused to show."—Virginia Dignam, Morning Star (London)

"Powerful, dynamic... Extremely detailed presentation of the troubles in Northern Ireland. As an interpretation of the Republican view, it is excellent, accurate and moving."—EFLA Evaluations

1980 Festival Popoli (Florence)
1980 Rotterdam Film Festival
1980 Festival Cinema du Reel (Paris)

93 minutes / b&w
Copyright: 1979
Sale: $298

In theaters now!

Subject areas:
History (World), Ireland, Politics, Social Movements, Western Europe

Related Links:
Other films and videos by Arthur MacCaig

Related Titles:
Rocky Road to Dublin: The last film screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1968. A provocative, biting portrayal of 1960s Ireland: the stultifying educational system, the repressive, reactionary clergy, and the myopic cultural nationalism.

A Song for Ireland: Traces the history of Ireland through her music, and Ireland's music through her history.

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Last Updated August 17, 2015
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