Sidewinder’s View: ’71 (2014)

From 2014, this morning’s movie, about a British soldier left behind in Belfast after a raid. He’s hunted throughout the night by some young, vicious IRA gunmen, as well as some shady MRF undercover Brits, who want to silence him after they learn he’s witnessed their own involvement in an unintended bombing.

71

I wasn’t expecting much, since this was available on Amazon Prime (not usually a reliable indicator of quality, I’ve found), but this was an excellent motion picture. Not a political film so much as a story about survival and humanity. Not every Irishman in Belfast wants to kill the soldier, but they know they risk their own lives, and their families, by trying to save him. Some of the Irish are quite nasty, but so are some of the British, while there are also good people on both sides.

The action scenes were thrilling and frightening without ever descending into implausibility or cliché. There was a nice balance in these scenes of handheld and steady camerawork, so my eyes weren’t driven too crazy watching it or following the action.

After catching the wonderfully surprising In Order Of Disappearance just a few days ago, and now this unexpectedly terrific film, I have to say that 2017 is shaping up to be a pretty good year for me at the movies…even if both of these were initially released in 2014.

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