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James Nesbitt (Waking Ned Devine) and Liam Neeson (Taken) star in award winning director Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Five Minutes of Heaven, a unique drama, based on actual events, that dares to explore aspects of Northern Ireland’s troubled past and the challenges the future holds in coming to terms with it.
Lurgan Northern Ireland, 1975. A low level civil war has been underway, with the IRA targeting British loyalists and the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force exacting revenge on Catholics they claim are militant republicans. Alistair Little, age16, is the leader of a UVF cell, eager to be blooded. He and his gang are given the go ahead to kill a young Catholic man, James Griffin, as a reprisal and a warning to others. When the hit is carried out, Joe Griffin, the 11-year old little brother of the target, watches in horror as his brother is shot in the head.
Thirty years later Joe Griffin (Nesbitt) and Alistair (Neeson) are to meet, on camera, with a view to reconciliation. Alistair has served his sentence, and Peace may have been agreed upon in Northern Ireland, but unbeknownst to the production team, Joe Griffin, is not coming on the program for a handshake... but to stick a knife in his brother's killer, live on air.
Reviews Counted: 45
Fresh:-David Fear, Time Out, November 18, 2011
Rotten:-Hank Sartin, Time Out, November 17, 2011
Fresh: Tense tale of guilt and atonement in Northern Ireland.-Don Groves, sbs.com.au, December 24, 2010
Fresh: The economy of the screenplay provides an intense and focused film that ultimately delivers a gentle and controlled payoff-Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile, March 13, 2010