Unquiet Graves

 

Unquiet Graves

Logline:

Exposing Britain’s secret collaboration in the murders of over 120 people on both sides of the Irish border during the recent conflict.

Synopsis:

Unquiet Graves: The story of the Glenanne Gang details how members of
the RUC and UDR, (a British Army regiment) were centrally involved in the murder of over 120 innocent civilians during the recent conflict in Ireland. It will detail how members worked hand in hand with known sectarian murderers in the targeted assassinations of farmers, shopkeepers, publicans and other civilians in a campaign aimed at terrorising the most vulnerable in society. Now known as the Glenanne Gang, the group of killers rampaged through Counties Tyrone and Armagh and across into the Irish Republic in a campaign that lasted from July 1972 to the end of 1978.

Biography:

Director, Seán Murray is an award winning filmmaker from Belfast. His recent film, Fractured City won a Royal Television Society Award at the BFI in London’s South Bank.

He is also director of Relapse Pictures; a Belfast based Production Company specialising in a range of work, including Documentary & Film.

He has directed a number of testimony-based documentaries dealing with legacy issues pertaining to the recent conflict in the North of Ireland and his recent film Ballymurphy was screened at a number of international festivals.

He is also a member of Queen’s University of Belfast’s ‘Centre for Documentary Research’ where he is currently a final year PhD candidate in Film Studies.

Stephen Rea

Narrator:

Stephen Rea was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He attended Belfast High School and the Queen’s University, where he studied English.

He later trained at the Abbey Theatre School in Dublin. In 1970s, he acted in the Focus Company in Dublin with the talented Gabriel Byrne and Colm Meaney After several stage, television and film appearances, he came to international success with his performance in The Crying Game (1992).

He was nominated an Oscar for Best Actor.

Director’s Statement:

In 1998 the Good Friday Agreement heralded a new era within Irish and British politics. Bolstered by the validation offered by referenda both north and south, the prospect of a shared future was greeted with great hope and optimism. The involvement of the Clinton White House administration created a greater international dynamic to the agreement with media outlets readily reporting the success as a template for other global conflicts.
However, when the bright lights and media frenzy had calmed down, many difficult legacies of the conflict remained to be addressed. In particular, a growing community of victims and survivors suffer psychological trauma and social and economic exclusion from the effects of over thirty years of political violence.

There is now general acknowledgment that adequate government support was seldom put in place to tackle issues of conflict-related trauma across a broad spectrum of victims and survivors. In the absence of such support, the work of filmmakers has increasingly sought to address this phenomenon by highlighting issues concerning transitional justice; a task complicated by contested interpretations of what defines justice. For Unionism emphasis on the application of law, order and security tends to take precedence in these debates, while nationalists invariably stress the requirement of parity and social justice.
Such agreements are further complicated by the role of the media, which for over thirty
years has been far from an impartial arbitrator between the political ideologies of both traditions, habitually presenting a legacy of dominant narratives shaped by state censorship and control, both north and south.

I have had many influences on my journey to completing ‘Unquiet Graves’. The inspiration for such work can be drawn from a number of early films that enlightened me to the power of documentary. The work of the late Art McCaig offered alternative narratives to the political discourse being beamed from broadcast channels under an atmosphere of censorship during the recent conflict, while television documentaries, such as Death on the Rock, (Roger Bolton, 1988) challenged the British state in its cover up of the executions of three Irish citizens in Gibraltar in March 1988. The exceptional investigative work carried out by the English journalists and filmmakers was later vindicated by a ruling at the ECHR that the killings breached Article 2 of the Convention on Human Rights.

Under the current political climate activist filmmakers have a duty and responsibility to both engage and contribute to the process of conflict transformation. The foregrounding of the personal cost to the horrors of our past offers an empowering voice to victims, one that holds no political authority but can be seen as both redressing the past for some and rebalancing a new historical understanding of the conflict.

Crew:
Director & Producer – Seán Murray Director of Photography – Kevin Treacy Executive Producer – Callum Macrae Film Editor – John Phillipson
Narration – Stephen Rea Original Music – Declan Gallen Animation – Peter Strain Graphics – Oisín O’Brien Colourist – Eoghan McKenna
Sound Design & Mix – Liam Yelen Camera Operator – Carl Quinn

Website: www.unquietgraves.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/glenannefilm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unquietgravesfilm/
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/269266157

Press:

“… outstanding documentary film-making combining in-depth research and personal testimony to expose the undeniable truth of state collusion and its fatal consequences …” Phil Scraton, Author, Hillsborough: The Truth

“It’s a cinematic masterpiece, poetically narrated by Oscar-nominee Stephen Rea…” The Morning Star

“This exploitation of sectarian violence is disturbingly present in Unquiet Graves…” The New Statesman

“… Unquiet Graves offered a gritting, enraging examination of the state collusion that accommodated (and sometimes actively drove) the murderous actions of the so-called Glenanne Gang…” The Irish Times

http://www.irishnews.com/news/2018/06/15/news/former-policeman-blows-the- whistle-on-murderous-glenanne-gang-in-new-documentary-1356549/

The Pat Kenny Show – Newstalk Radio 3/7/2018

The New statesman: How British forces colluded in sectarian violence in Northern Ireland 7/3/2019

Unquiet Graves named one of the best films at Galway film Fleadh by The Irish Times 17/7/2018

https://unionistvoice.com/opinions/opinion-sean-murray-responds-to-a-recent- article-criticising-his-glenanne-gang-film/

https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2018/11/09/unquiet-graves-a-documentary- exposing-britains-dirty-war-in-ireland/

2018 in Film: 35 Highlights of the Year

The Morning Star: Film Review of Unquiet Graves 1/3/2019
Daily Mail: Former police officer claimed British behind plot to attack Catholic school 20/2/2019

Media Coverage Report

Download media coverage report

 

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