... 30 January 1972 — Derry, Ireland

Bloody Sunday — the movie, by Don Mullan


THIRTY-eight years after 13 people were shot to death, and one later died from his injuries in Derry, Northern Ireland, all blame for the tragedy has finally been put on the hands of the UK army.

For a round up of related news items and reports visit http://www.indymedia.ie/article/96986

Those who died from gunshot wounds were:

Kevin McElhinney, Gerald Donaghy, John Duddy, Bernard McGuigan, Michael McDaid, William Nash, James Wray, Michael Kelly, John Johnston, John Young, William McKinney, Gerard McKinney, Hugh Gilmore, Patrick Doherty


BLOODY SUNDAY — the movie
archived item
by Don Mullan

'Bloody Sunday' is a critically acclaimed low budget movie with a big impact. It truthfully recounts the events of Sunday, January 30, 1972, a traumatic afternoon for my community in Derry, when British Paratroopers shot 27 people, 13 of whom died that day.

Since 1996 I have worked closely with the Bloody Sunday families as part of their campaign for justice and truth. With their support, I published 'Eyewitness Bloody Sunday' (Wolfhound Press 1997) a book which became an important catalyst in their campaign for the establishment of a new Bloody Sunday Inquiry.

The book was also the inspiration for two British filmmakers, Mark Redhead and Paul Greengrass, to make the movie. They invited me to be co-producer and, with the support and cooperation of the Bloody Sunday families and wounded, we set about making the first full length feature film, simply called 'Bloody Sunday'.

By Hollywood standards our budget was small ($4.3 million). However, despite the low budget our cast involved over 10,000 people. In Derry, upwards of 7,000 people volunteered in freezing cold and wet weather in February 2001 to help us recreate the original march for the purpose of the film.

When the film was shown to the Bloody Sunday families and wounded in Derry earlier this year, it was, at its conclusion, given a standing ovation. For the filmmakers, it was both a humbling and encouraging endorsement. Since then, the film has astounded us by the impact it has made and the awards it has received worldwide. In Italy, for example, the demand was such that four copies of the film soon spiralled to over 60 showing across the nation, netting over $1 million in box office sales! To date, the film has won six international awards (Australia, Croatia, Germany, Israel, Portugual and the USA) including 'Best Picture Awards' at the prestigious 'Sundance Film Festival 2002' and the 'Berlin Film Festival 2002'. It has now been selected for the New York Film Festival from which it will begin a tour of the United States, Canada and other worldwide territories, promoted by Paramount Classics.

Eventually 'Bloody Sunday' will be available in North America and elsewhere on video and DVD. However, it was made primarily as a theatrical piece and, as such, its full impact can best be experienced in that medium. Together with the families who lost loved ones on that day, we are hopeful that the film will be supported initially in New York and in other cities and towns throughout North America. I am writing especially to encourage as many people as possible in the New York area to come and see the movie. Paramount Classics have predicted that if New York in particular leads, the rest of the country will follow. So, we appeal to those in the New York area, and the east coast in general, to come and see it and encourage your families, relatives, friends and associates to see it also.

I genuinely believe that 'Bloody Sunday' is one of the most important films to be made about the 'Troubles' in the last 30 years. It contextualises the destruction of the non-violent Civil Rights Movement and the accendency of the armed struggle. One critic described our movie as "a pain-filled masterpiece". What is most important is that it was made by Irish and British people together. Those participating included families of the victims, the wounded, eyewitnesses to the massacre in 1972 and former British soldiers who had served in Northern Ireland. The making of the film was, in reality, a mini peace process. It has a very authentic feel about it. Everyone on its production worked with integrity to tell the truth about the horror and consequences of that terrible day.

With the Bloody Sunday families support, I was co-producer of the movie, consultant and march organiser. I worked alongside English director, Paul Greengrass and English Producer, Mark Redhead, two of the most honourable people I have ever encountered in my professional career. The movie was a co-production between Granda Films and Jim Sheridan's 'Hell's Kitchen'.

The movie has been critically acclaimed throughout the world. For example, the following is a quote from Peter Traver's review in the September 2002 edition of 'Rolling Stone' magazine:

"Look for Paul Greengrass' volcanic re-creation of the massacre in Northern Ireland on January 30th, 1972 - immortalized in the song by U2 - to take on the giants in the race for best picture of 2002. The film is also a triumph for actor James Nesbitt, who plays civil-rights leader Ivan Cooper with an intensity of feeling that will leave you shaken. And to think this stunner of a film cost less ($4.3 million) than it takes to keep Harry Potter in wands."

Travers went on to predict: "Bloody Sunday star James Nesbitt may be the actor of the year."

The movie opened at the New York Film Festival on 2nd October at the Lincoln Center.

Below is a Paramount Classics link which gives more details about the movie including access to a trailer:


Just a couple of days after Bloody Sunday the bereaved families had to endure another wound when, through their New York Consulate, the Government of Prime Minister Edward Heath disseminated lies to the world media about the dead and wounded, suggesting that many were gunmen, bombers. They also alleged some were on the Army's wanted list. At the time the families did not understand the power of the first sound bite. However, their epic struggle for justice has reached historic proportions and they are an inspiration to people around the world who are fighting against powerful forces for Human Rights and Justice. This movie is dedicated by Paul Greengrass, Mark Redhead and myself to the Bloody Sunday families and all who seek Truth, Justice and accountability for Human Rights abuses throughout the world.

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