UK Release: October 10th 2014
The Screen Yorkshire/Warp Films/Film 4 backed film from Yann Demange (TV’s ‘Dead Set’), ‘’71’, is a film about a young disoriented solder (Jack O’Connell), being accidently abandoned by his unit following a riot of the deadly streets of Belfast in 1971. He soon then finds himself on the run from killers from both Provisional IRA and the British Army’s Military Reaction Force. Shot in Blackburn, West Yorkshire, the film brings a incredible sense of isolation, which certainly emits a glow to genre films such as ‘Escape from New York’ and ‘The Warriors’.
What I like about this film is that it is more a horror film if anything. You have the fact that this was real life for people, let alone the nameless killers, torture porn, and dead bodies on the street. It is an intense portrayal of the action that happened, it does have the usual story tropes which go with films with this set up, but it’s that intense it barely registers. It also leaves audiences with a chilling after taste as well. It certainly doesn’t wave figures at any political context, and being directed by someone from outside of the UK certainly brings a refreshing prospect to the film. O’Connell (as to expect) is also exceptional, you can tell what he is thinking, without him having to say a word. So conclude one of the best British films I have seen this year. And it has been a very good year for British film as well.