• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Jim Sheridan's Academy Award-nominated film "The Boxer" depicts the degradation and disunity of Northern Ireland's Catholic and Protestant communities through the hands of the terrorist organisation, the Irish Republican Army.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Jim Sheridan's Academy Award-nominated film "The Boxer" depicts the degradation and disunity of Northern Ireland's Catholic and Protestant communities through the hands of the terrorist organisation, the Irish Republican Army. The film, set in the early 1990s, follows the intensification of terrorism as a political instrument through the abuse of power within the Irish Republican Army organisation, resulting in the formation of radical extremist groups. Further complicating the political and social circumstances is the permanent presence of occupational British 'peacekeeping' forces, which Sheridan constructs as a catalyst for further violence within the Irish community. The violence and terror culminate in the signing of a ceasefire by the Irish Republican Army, causing an outcry from the provisional militant groups and resulting in widespread bombings and further bloodshed. Through his construction of the discourses of a divided Ireland, terrorism and forbidden love, director Jim Sheridan has positioned the viewer to perceive violence and terrorism as social negatives, with the end result being that the viewer ultimately acknowledges the significant human cost of terrorism. The basis for Sheridan's construction of terrorism as a social negative stems from his interpretation of 20th century Ireland as a divided nation. This disunity takes many different forms, from the most obvious division between Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants to more obscure, but no less relevant partitions between the Irish and the British, and perhaps most importantly, the division within families caused as a result of terrorist acts. ...read more.

Middle

Harry's exploits in perpetuating terrorism incites the British to halt peace negotiations with Joe, privileging the extent to which the abuse of power contributes to the social situation in Northern Ireland. The viewer is given an insight into the horrors of terrorism through Sheridan's skilful use of the power of the camera lens, which plays an important role in communicating to the viewer that violence doesn't solve anything, yet is advocated by people with overpassionate ideals. The film is full of bleak, austere colours, which serves to express the oppression and fear that the people of Northern Ireland live under as a result of terrorism. In contrast, Sheridan's depiction of the numerous car bombings within the film present a well-employed use of special effects, and his use of camera panning across these scenes of destruction privileges the almost-apocalyptic nature of such attacks, positioning the viewer to accept the dominant position that terrorism is a social negative, and enlisting the sympathy of the audience. Furthermore, Sheridan's graphic depictions of the effect terrorism has on humans discourages viewers from accepting the negotiated reading that terrorism is a valid means to achieving a political goal for those who have been denied a position of power. Jim Sheridan's use of powerful dialogue and moving imagery have combined to stress the dominant position that terrorism is a manifestation of the corruption of power existinh in Northern Ireland as a social negative. ...read more.

Conclusion

This graphic statement is juxtaposed against the discourse of forbidden love to privilege the extent to which terrorism is constructed as a social negative. "The Boxer", in its exploration of the discourses of a divided Ireland, terrorism and forbidden love, is a masterful insight into the horrors of 20th century Ireland, and into the consequences of the corruption of power on such a grand scale. Through his selection of discourses and use of film techniques such as camera angles and sound effects, Sheridan invites the viewer to accept the dominant position that terrorism is a social negative, existing solely as a function of desperation for those who have endured years of being disenfranchised. In addition to this, Sheridan makes light of the horrific nature and sheer brutality of terrorism itself, by making a connection between the discourses of terrorism and its human impact. Unlike many of today's films, Sheridan truly encourages the viewer to contemplate the concept of terrorism from a human perspective, rather than the overly clinical fashion which has today become commonplace. By analysing the relationship between Danny and Maggie in the context of a divided nation overrun with terrorism, Sheridan has transformed the archetypal discourse of forbidden love, and revolutionised public perception and awareness of the human impact of terrorism. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Northern Ireland 1965-85 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Northern Ireland 1965-85 essays

  1. The History of Conflict in Ireland.

    The British believed that they were defeating them. The Protestant community, particularly militant Protestants, were becoming more self-confident, and they believed that it was only a question of time before they went back to the status quo. But in the longer term, the decision to use criminalization meant that a whole community were being branded.

  2. How did Protestant politicians explain the social, economic and political differences between Catholic and ...

    for Catholics and improve relations with Catholics and because of these objectives he wanted to achieve the Nationalists and the Catholics took this very well and most of them liked Terence O'Neill. Because O'Neill was well educated he knew what was going on in Northern Ireland and he knew that it had to be sorted out.

  1. to what extent was Ireland moving toward an Irish Ireland rather than a British ...

    after carrying out many parliamentary enquiries, and completing a census, that the tithing system within the church heavily outweighed the ministerial and administrative requirement. The church thereafter became known as a voluntary organisation; Given over to a governing church body.

  2. Catholic and Protestant, Nationalist and Unionist, Republican and

    In 1921, the Anglo-Irish treaty formed a free Irish state with the provision that Northern Ireland could withdraw from the Irish Free State if it was their choice. Of course, at a time when 95 percent of the entirety of Ireland was Catholic and nearly 70 percent of the North

  1. The Irish Republican Army: Before and After 1968

    IRA are engaged in more indiscriminate acts of violence, targeting not only those who are deemed as their enemies but also those who go against their ideas. The IRA also has specific targets of people whom they wanted to attack, usually members of specific rival or dominant etho-nationalist group3.

  2. What was the impact of the British army moving into Northern Ireland?

    This hooliganism was at first believed to be the work of the IRA but was in fact the UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) who were strict Protestants. The Protestants living in and around the Bogside area were giving the blocked in Catholics a very hard time and so the British Army were called in.

  1. Discord and disunity.

    as most of them were English-speaking -Tamils in the civil service were given 3 yrs to learn Sinhala or be dismissed -many Tamils thought it was unfair as they were disadvantaged in the civil service/ political & business opportunities and a personal attack on their culture -violence broke out during

  2. A Reflection on the Films

    She even denied Madame Devries' offer to come back home, which is a symbol of the clinching away of the young nation from the Mother Land. The Navy Lieutenant symbolized those French who despised the system of corruption and oppression in the colony.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work