In spite of the thousands of Irish that left their country in favor of living on American soil, the American sports have not been influenced by the Irish. As Gerry comes back from England with his pockets full of money he comes across some children playing soccer on the street. The probability of one finding some kids playing soccer in the U.S. is very little as the sport is unpopular among the children and especially among the 1970s children.
Because of the good impersonation done by the actors, one can sense fear and distress in the look and manner of speaking of each of the Irish people in the movie. This was not something one would see in the 1970s U.S., as America was the land of freedom at that time, with no existent threat to its people. Unlike the U.S., the Irish had been living under extreme pressure because of the constant war between the IRA and the British with its front on the Irish streets.
In the Name of the Father” is a 1993 motion picture inspired from a real life event from England in which several Irish people have been wrongfully accused of bombing a local pub. The movie is presented as a story recorded by Gerry Conlon for his lawyer to be better acquainted with the case of Gerry and his kin.
The action begins when Gerry and some friends of his are in search of scrap metal they can later sell. Because of the noise that the gang makes, a British military patrol is alerted and mistakes Gerry for a sniper from the IRA. After being followed by the British, Gerry and his friends turn the people from the streets into a raging mob determined to fight the British military. In his run Gerry accidentally stumbles upon an IRA nest full of weapons and thus he turns the IRA against him as well. After these events Gerry has no other alternative than leaving his native land to go to England.
Once on the boat, Gerry meets Paul Hill, an old friend of his, and as they reach England the two join a hippie movement with the help of one of Gerrys Irish friends. Living a happy life by doing drugs and not working seems to perfectly fit Gerry and Paul, but after a conflict with an anti-Irish Englishman within the hippie group the two decide to leave the shelter and sleep on a bench in the park. As they walk the streets, Gerry robs a lot of money from a prostitutes house and he returns to Ireland with the loot.
After an unhappy turn of events, Gerry along with Paul and two other friends of his is arrested as a suspect of the Birmingham pub bombing.
Coming to help his son, Gerrys father, Giuseppe Conlon, along with his aunt and her family are taken into custody as the British police considered them to be potential terrorists.
As soon as the police get hold of the suspects, the latter are compelled into falsely testifying to have placed the bomb. Most of the suspects involved receive life sentences and Gerry is incarcerated in the same cell as his father. After struggling to survive for a few years, Giuseppe dies from lung complications and convinces Gerry to further fight for his freedom. Gareth Pierce, a lawyer that became interested in the case because of Giuseppe, is further persuaded by Gerry to continue her search for the truth. Following an accidental occurrence at the police station, Gareth comes across classified documents which would clear the Birmingham bombing case. She immediately takes the papers to court and unfolds a series of illegalities done by city officials in order to imprison the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six, as the innocent Irish were nicknamed.
After spending part of his life being wrongfully imprisoned and after the loss of his father, Gerry succeeded in proving his innocence only because of the police failing in taking care of the classified information. There probably are several identical cases in the world, but those involved might have been less lucky than Gerry Conlon.
In the Name of the Father. Prod. Jim Sheridan. Dir. Jim Sheridan. Perf.
Daniel Day-Lewis Emma Thompson,
Hells Kitchen Films. 1993
BBC History. “The Troubles, 1963 to 1985.” 2001. BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/recent/troubles/the_troubles_article_02.shtml
BBC News. “The IRA campaigns in England.” 2001. BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1201738.stm.