Bloody Sunday (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday movie poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed byPaul Greengrass
Screenplay byPaul Greengrass
Based onEyewitness Bloody Sunday
by Don Mullan
Produced byMark Redhead
Don Mullan (co-producer)
StarringJames Nesbitt
Tim Pigott-Smith
Nicholas Farrell
Gerard McSorley
Kathy Kiera Clarke
CinematographyIvan Strasburg
Edited byClare Douglas
Music byDominic Muldowney
Bórd Scannán na hÉireann
Granada Television
Hell's Kitchen Films
Irish Film Board (funding)
Portman Entertainment Group
Distributed byParamount Classics
Release date
  • 16 January 2002 (2002-01-16) (Sundance)
  • 25 January 2002 (2002-01-25) (UK)
Running time
111 minutes
CountriesUnited Kingdom
Box office£482,117

Bloody Sunday is a 2002 British-Irish film written and directed by Paul Greengrass based around the 1972 "Bloody Sunday" shootings in Derry, Northern Ireland. Although produced by Granada Television as a TV film, it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on 16 January, a few days before its screening on ITV on 20 January, and then in selected London cinemas from 25 January. Though set in Derry, the film was mostly shot in Ballymun in North Dublin, with some location scenes were shot in Derry, in Guildhall Square and in Creggan on the actual route of the march in 1972.


The film was inspired by Don Mullan's politically influential book Eyewitness Bloody Sunday (Wolfhound Press, 1997). The drama shows the events of the day through the eyes of Ivan Cooper, an SDLP Member of the Parliament of Northern Ireland who was a central organiser of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association march in Derry on 30 January 1972. The march ended when British Army paratroopers fired on the demonstrators, killing thirteen and wounding another who died four-and-a-half months later. In addition to the deaths, fourteen other people were wounded.

The soundtrack contains only one piece of music, a live version of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" by U2 which plays over the closing credits.

Casting and production[edit]

Cooper is played by James Nesbitt, himself a Protestant from Northern Ireland. In recognition of the role his book played in achieving the new Bloody Sunday Inquiry, his book's role as inspiration for the movie, and the fact that he was a schoolboy witness to the tragedy, Don Mullan was asked by director Paul Greengrass to appear in the film as a Bogside Priest. A number of the military characters were played by ex-members of the British Army, including Simon Mann. Gerry Donaghy was played by Declan Duddy, nephew of Jackie Duddy, one of those killed on Bloody Sunday. Big Brother 2007 housemate Seány O'Kane was also in the film.[1]

Notable actors[edit]


The film was critically acclaimed.[2] It won the Audience Award at Sundance and the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival (tied with Spirited Away), in addition to the Hitchcock d'Or best film prize at the Dinard Festival of British Cinema.[3]

Bloody Sunday appeared a week before Jimmy McGovern's TV film on the same subject, entitled Sunday (shown by Channel 4). McGovern subsequently criticised Greengrass's film for concentrating on the leadership of the march, and not the perspective of those who joined it.[4]

It holds a 92% approval rating on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes, based on 102 collected reviews, with an average score of 7.9/10. The site's consensus reads: "Bloody Sunday powerfully recreates the events of that day with startling immediacy."[5]


  1. ^ Seány O'Kane at IMDb
  2. ^ UKTV Drama Stars Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 14 July 2007.
  3. ^ French award for Bloody Sunday BBC News Online, 6 October 2002. Retrieved 14 July 2007.
  4. ^ McGovern, Jimmy (10 June 2004). "The power of truth". The Guardian. London.
  5. ^ "Bloody Sunday (2002)". Flixster. Retrieved 22 February 2014.

Further reading[edit]

  • Blaney, Aileen (Fall–Winter 2007). "Remembering Historical Trauma in Paul Greengrass's Bloody Sunday". History & Memory. Indiana University Press. 19 (2): 113–138. doi:10.2979/HIS.2007.19.2.113. S2CID 154269051.

External links[edit]