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Conflict and Controversy in Small Cinemas

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Edited By Janina Falkowska and Krzysztof Loska

This book examines small cinemas and their presentation of society in times of crisis and conflict from an interdisciplinary and intercultural point of view. The authors concentrate on economic, social and political challenges and point to new phenomena which have been exposed by film directors. They present essays on, among others, Basque cinema; gendered controversies in post-communist small cinemas in Slovakia and Czech Republic; ethnic stereotypes in the works of Polish filmmakers; stereotypical representation of women in Japanese avant-garde; post-communist political myths in Hungary; the separatist movements of Catalonia; people in diasporas and during migrations. In view of these timely topics, the book touches on the most serious social and political problems. The films discussed provide an excellent platform for enhancing debates on politics, gender, migration and new aesthetics in cinema at departments of history, sociology, literature and film.

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2. The troubled image: The conflict in Northern Ireland as seen by the Irish and the British (Karolina Kosińska)

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Karolina Kosińska

Instytut Sztuki, Polska Akademia Nauk

2. The troubled image: The conflict in Northern Ireland as seen by the Irish and the British1

Abstract: “The Troubles” – this is the name given to the conflict between Northern Ireland and Great Britain (and, in a sense, between the Irish Republic) which lasted from civil rights protests in the late 1960s up to 1998 Good Friday Agreement. The Troubles significantly dissipated political tensions in that part of Europe. However, this conflict is not only a political one but also national, economic, sectarian and cultural. The approach to this conflict defines issues of Irish identity from the northern part of the island. Cinema is also engaged in this conflict as the Troubles became the subject of films directed by both the Irish filmmakers (Pat O’Connor, Jim Sheridan, Neil Jordan, Terry George) and the British ones (Alan Clarke, Ken Loach, Mike Leigh, Paul Greengrass). The aim of this chapter is to look into these narrative patterns and to the dominating ideological attitudes present in these films.

Keywords: Northern Ireland, Troubles, Irish cinema, British cinema, conflict

Introduction

The cinematic image of the Troubles in Northern Ireland is always troubled, by definition. In all accounts concerning films about this conflict, there is persistent question: ‘which side are you on?’ Is it the republican or the unionist side that is supported? Is the film made from the Irish, British...

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