The revolutionists in both Michael Collins and Bloody Sunday are depicted as being the underdogs oppressed by the tyranny and might of the British.

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                                                    Submitted By: Harsharn Gill

Date of Submission: 2010-03-01

Course Instructor’s Name: Gillian Helfield

TA’s Name: Susan Murray

Student #: 209729898

Course Code: FA/FILM 1701

Word Count: 992

The revolutionists in both Michael Collins and Bloody Sunday are depicted as being the “underdogs” oppressed by the tyranny and might of the British. A key distinction however, is that whereas in Michael Collins the revolutionists are portrayed as heroes striking back at their oppressors through violent means, in Bloody Sunday, the revolutionists are portrayed as being non-aggressors trying to trigger change through peaceful means. Regardless of method, the end result in both cases ends up being equally catastrophic.

Beginning with Michael Collins, the Irish revolutionists are portrayed as noble and patriotic warriors who are mercied against British imperial forces. This is apparent in the beginning scenes of the movie where Michael Collins is in front of a huge crowd and tries to rally support for the revolution. He says, “Even if they shoot us, or conscript us, we have a weapon more powerful than any in the whole arsenal of the British Empire! That weapon... is our refusal!” (Jordan, Neil, Michael Collins). This scene attempts to justify the Irish revolutionist’s causes. At the same time, it depicts them as mythical warriors, fighting for country and land. In regards to setting, the peaceful portrayal of Michael Collins’ country-side setting of West Cork, serves as a stark contrast to the more chaotic and strife ridden setting of Dublin. Most of the shots in the streets are taken at night and are thus, very dim. With the exception of torches carefully placed to provide subtle illumination nonetheless, it is very difficult to see the faces of the characters. Aside from that the film itself is still a marvel to gaze upon. It possesses lush settings; soft diffuse lighting, beautifully saturated warm colours coupled with fluid camera work. In regards to camera techniques, the movie utilizes long shot techniques effectively in scenes where Collins is engaged in conflict or rallying support.  

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The film attempts to portray Collins in a more humane light flawed yet at the same time, sympathetic. He is aware that when it comes to causing mayhem he is the ultimate authority but at the same time, he wants peace so badly that he is willing to give up his life for it. Even amid intense scenes of strife and violence the film portrays Collins as a tormented individual forced to resort to violence. This is apparent in the scene where he tells Harry, “I want peace so bad that I could die for it... I do not like ...

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