Last weekend I saw two movies and I am going to dedicate this and the next episode to those movies. I am not sure if I can call these reviews but more of my experience watching and thoughts that went through my mind watching them. I watched both the movies in the theaters. Today let’s talk about Belfast.
Belfast is directed by Kenneth Branagh… Branagh has been nominated for five Academy Awards before, apparently the first man to be nominated for it in five different categories. Belfast is a coming of age story of a young boy during the 1960’s in Belfast. Growing up in a working class family during ‘The Troubles’… which is the period of about 30 years from the late 1960s to 1998. This is also known internationally as the Northern Ireland conflict.
Though it is referred as a conflict between Catholics and Protestants.. it was not really a religious conflict but more an Ethno, political and Nationalistic conflict… If interested you can read more about the history of those times online…
Coming to the movie it is presented in Black & White which gives us a feeling of those times… While the story is told during a time of conflict.. the mood does swing between amusing and tense…
As I was watching the movie what came to my mind was how families deal with things around them. There is this conflict that is in the background and there is the financial problems that impact families… the need for employment… and not getting it in the place you live and having to move away from home and family…. the choice and possibilities of migrating elsewhere and the unknowns that come with it.. With all these in place there are relationships between everyone that each one puts extra effort to keep safe and sane..
The relationships between partners, friends, siblings, parents and kids, grand parents… teenage love and the humanness of good human beings whose relationships are all put to test in the backdrop of what is happening…
There is a survival line to which people hold themselves to… and we want everyone we love to be part of that survival line… but in reality there are many such survival lines there and people are hooked on to what they feel is the most comfortable and reachable… Some of the fabric will be torn and cannot be stitched back… it is hard to keep them intact… some are just lost and will never be like before.. people are moved along their own survival lines…. surviving and focussing on being together in the most needed smallest unit possible is the only option. it is the nucleus family.. not the extended and definitely not the friends and neighbourhood….
The movie is to be Semi Autobiographical and one can feel it in the narration…. it is touching….
The last part of the movie sums it all in such a beautiful way…the closing credits read “For the ones who stayed. For the ones who left. And for all the ones who were lost.”