The Journey, a fine start
to Cinegael’s 26th year
Fictional tale explores the genesis of the St. Andrews Agreement of 2007
By Byron Toben
Even though I am a believer that truth is often stranger than fiction, sometimes fiction is stranger than truth. This occurred to me in viewing The Journey, the leadoff film in Cinegael Montréal’s 26th season of Irish films.
This superbly acted, well photographed and deftly edited movie won awards at the Venice film festival and was featured at the Toronto film festival. A US distributor has recently acquired theatrical rights for the USA. Hopefully, someone will do the same for Canada. So it is a coup for Cinegael to have shown it last Friday. I am informed it is now available on Netflix.
Ireland has had a turbulent history with England ever since 1171, when English King Henry II (great grandson of William the Conqueror of 1066 and all that fame) took over the fabled “Island of Saints and Scholars”.
Fast forward through centuries of unrest, inequities and blood, Cromwell to The Great Hunger, Home rule to Civil war, culminating in the St. Andrews Agreement of 2007, which finally brought peace in our times.
Those accords, held in Scotland, resulted in a compromise wherein the fiery Protestant reverend Ian Paisley became the first minister of a devolved Northern Ireland and his long foe, Martin McGuiness of the IRA, his deputy.
This superbly acted, well photographed and deftly edited movie won awards at the Venice film festival and was featured at the Toronto film festival.
Despite their historic mutual disdain, they seem to have, in office, achieved a personal friendship.
This film introduces a fictional tale as to the genesis of the accords and the improvements in communication, wherein a M15 (British intelligence) maverick plot placed both in the same auto to an airport as mishaps en route drew the two closer.
Serious issues mixed with nuanced comedy makes for satisfying viewing.
Below is a link to the Cinegael schedule, extending into April. The next two selections are described in greater detail there and the balance will be later.