The acclaimed Paul Greengrass film charts the tragic day’s events through the eyes of Ivan Cooper, the Protestant civil rights activist and MP for the area.
Naturally, Hutchinson vividly recalls the day 30 years ago when 14 civil rights marchers were shot dead in Derry by British soldiers. And after some warm remarks, and with U2’s signature song still ringing in people’s ears, he said what everyone knew: the film speaks for itself.
Bono didn’t attend last week’s premiere in Manhattan, though it was rumored he would, but the ever effervescent Mike Jagger (no pictures please), fresh from a Rolling Stones show at Madison Square Garden, joined Don Mullan, the film’s co-producer, at the reception.
Mullan is also the author of “Eyewitness Bloody Sunday,” which is generally credited with kick starting the current Saville Inquiry set up by British Prime Minister Tony Blair two years ago. He and Greengrass gratefully accepted plaudits from actor Gabriel Byrne and Frank McCourt, Wall Streeters John Caughton and Todd Allen, attorney John Connorton and John Kelly, brother of one of those killed on Bloody Sunday.
The original Ivan Cooper held court with a constant stream of well wishers, most wanting to reminisce about the January day and cross check what artistic license he saw in the final cut.
It is always going to be uncanny when the subject in a movie and the actor portraying him are together, but James Nesbitt was brilliantly cast for the part. Both are gregarious and have a similar laconic Northern Ireland humor. Having flown from a set in Wales at 8 a.m., Nesbitt was remarkably wide awake and amenable to a constant stream of people who wanted a word or a picture.
If the buzz among New York’s always busy social-political set is any gauge of success, expect to see “Bloody Sunday,” which is being promoted by Paramount Classics, making an impact in theaters.
Terry George, who along with working buddy Jim Sheridan have almost a dozen Oscar nominations between them said, “It is the best and most important Irish film of the last ten years.”
Strong from someone who knows.