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Analysing Thematic Opposition In Two Films

1770 words - 8 pages

The debate about political violence and nonviolence is a major theme in the discussion about the struggle for independence in Northern Ireland. This conflict is dramatized in the two films in context in the form of the Ireland Republic army (IRA) where two main characters are portrayed as a protagonist and an antagonist to bring out the theme in the films.
The Wind that Shakes the Barley is a film featured in the nineteenth century, by Ken Loach. Basing its storyline between the years 1920 and 1922, the film is founded on historical events. The film also employs a fictional cast of characters drawn from experiences of real-life participants. The rebellion involved between the Irish people ...view middle of the document...

All these, fit in the Michael Collins film pretty well.
Analysing Thematic Opposition in the two Films: Violence/Non-Violence.
Michael Collins:
Michael Collins film generally displays the importance of giving up violence while offering the effectiveness and legitimacy of violent methods to a certain extent to attain independence from the British invaders. In the film Michael Collins, there are two men, Eamon de Valera and Michael Collins, who are major participants in politics. At the start of the film, the two are on the same side, with similar interests of fighting for Irish freedom. The only disagreements coming up between them at this time seem to be related to their tactics. The first appearance of Michael Collins in uniform makes him easy to recognise as a soldier (Kilfeather, 215). Collins tries to stop British soldiers from hurting one of the ring leaders of the rising James Conolly after their capture which depicts him as a man who does not support violence. However, Eamon stops him telling him to wait for the next time which makes Eamon seem more like a strategist who is pro violence.
It is clear that while Collins is passionate and warm-hearted, he is also willing to resort to violence to defend his beliefs, even if it means doing it in a ruthless manner (Farquharson, Danine, and Sean 199). It is expected that Collins, as a man who has the interests of the Irish Republic at heart and a passionate man for that matter, would not advocate violence. However, as found earlier, at the time Eamon was jailed, Collins was the mastermind for all violence. He committed murders, daylight robberies and general mayhem all in the name of his beliefs.
At the same time, the film intends to capture the theme of nonviolence as an effective way to achieve their Irish independence. Before his death, Collins who is described as good at “bloody mayhem” commits to peace and negotiation only using violence as a last resort. From the film, Collins has ordered some deaths, including some assassinations (Kilfeather, 220). There is a conflict of themes where Collins has to commit so many murders to attain peace for the Irish Republic and later in his life he only resorts to violence after all other methods of resolution fail.
This film explores violent conflict between the rebels from Ireland and the British forces during the Easter Rising which happened in 1916 which led to the loss of the rebels to the British. The film debates on the civil wars in Ireland, casting light on the difficulties that led to the achievement of freedom. The film also connects the past and present relationship, leading to a re-examination of the Irish identity (Farquharson, Danine, and Sean 199).
The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Like in the ‘Michael Collins’ film, ‘The Wind That Shakes the Barley’ film is based on the violent and nonviolent theme with one of the main actors resorting to violence as a means of justifying their cause while the other resorting to peace. The film is...

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