Thursday, November 27, 2014

Review of "Jimmy's Hall"

A solid Ken Loach film about Jimmy Gralton, an Irish Communist in the post-Independence period, who opened a little tin-roofed hall for cultural and educational activities in a rural area and thus aroused the enmity of the church and local reactionaries. Good because it recovers from obscurity the story of Gralton, the only Irishman to be deported from Ireland, and because it avoids the usual nationalist cliches about Ireland's troubles all being due to the British. The thugs who close down Jimmy's hall are Free State policemen and soldiers; the rascally landlords who evict tenants are all Irish, not cardboard Anglo aristocrats. The IRA are a useless bunch of ditherers and fence-sitters, not the bold nationalist heroes that they usually are in Hollywood films.

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