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» » Die Mauer des Zorns (2003)

Short summary

Violence erupts in north Belfast when the residents of Glenbyrn, a predominantly Protestant suburb, object to schoolgirls walking through their neighbourhood from the Catholic area of Ardoyne to the Holy Cross primary school.

Based on true events.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Mariwyn
    In July 2001, tensions between the loyalist and republican community are simmering with one group feeling under siege as the other expands. When the school term ends things are bad, however in September the protestors are out in force to prevent the Catholic families from walking to school through the Protestant area.

    In 2001 I was working in the midlands of England, having been in the UK for about 4 years or so. When this stuff all happened I was constantly asked why people were shouting at children in this way and why `the protestants are just monsters'. These questions were because the media simply cannot report on circumstances, they can only report events, and the events of the time were that school girls were getting yelled at. It was for this reason that I almost dreaded watching this film, the last few films on Northern Ireland I had seen had been either simplified or had been badly slanted in favour of one side or the other.

    However this film is very different and very good to watch if you have never lived in Northern Ireland or don't really understand why things happen. The film is balanced, both good sides and bad sides of the community are shown. Unlike the normal `protestants are uncompromising monsters' view that the UK media portray (and I live here now so trust me) this manages to show both sides' point of view. The problem with this is that the film has no answers, but then that is also a fair thing for a film on this subject.

    The sense of a loyalist community being under siege is palatable and very well painted. Even if you (like most) condemn the actions that came about, this will help you see why things like this happen in the community. Likewise, the Catholic community, portrayed as saints by the media at the time, are seen balanced and the film does question their actions and motivation for refusing to go round the back of the school. Like one of the characters says `they're using their kids'.

    The timing of this film could be questioned – to produce a film that brings out old feelings that have been moved past (if not forgiven or understood) at a time where elections loom and political parties are fighting again, could be seen as insensitive or just naive. However I will concede that would probably never be a good time to make a film such as this.

    Overall this is an excellent film simply because it paints both communities fairly – a rare thing in Northern Ireland dramas. The film closes with no captions of closure or peaceful movements forward, only with an image of segregation. One reviewer attacked it for it's pessimism – but, that's how things often are in Northern Ireland, trouble doesn't get solved, it usually just gets contained and controlled.
  • comment
    • Author: Thiama
    Holy Cross was one of the most moving programs I have ever seen. The acting was superb especialy from the young girl who played Siobhan.

    The program highlights what effects behavior like that has on children and their communities.

    Well Done BBC!
  • comment
    • Author: นℕĨĈტℝ₦
    I saw whis movie at the Montreal World Film Festival and was really surprised at how good it was for a TV movie. The script is classic but very well constructed. What I liked the most about this movie is that it isn't over-dramatized. It shows us the story through two different families' experiences without adding too much misery or infortunes to their lives. We sense that something bad will happen to one of the characters but the movie very wisely keeps track on what really happened thus showing that the real drama isn't who got his a&?% kicked by whom but the girls' trauma after the events. The victims of what happened aren't the hard headed punks who start the trouble or the citizens who spend their time yelling and requesting their war but the kids who never asked for nothing else but go to school. One very powerful moment is when a protestant kid sees her mother yelling at the little girls all sorts of curses. You can really feel what goes on in the little girl's head when she sees her mother going mad.

    The only problem is that it is almost too politically correct but you can clearly see that that was the director's intent. In my humble opinion, he tries too hard on justifying the protestants' acts when they can't really be justified. They can only be explained.
  • comment
    • Author: Usaxma
    Holy Cross purports to be a true representation of the horrifying and shaming events in Belfast back in 2001 when Catholic schoolgirls were subjected, by protesting loyalists, to a tunnel of verbal and physical abuse on their way to classes. But the whole film is filled with fictional episodes and characters which seek to condition the audience into a deeper understanding of the background to the story. There is a wholly moral line of thought which suggests such attacks on children require no forgiving back story and are disgraceful in themselves, with or without the nod of history, but that doesn't seem have occurred to the makers (BBCNI, of course). In their heavy-handed attempt to rewrite the facts any understanding of why the loyalists behaved in such a shocking manner is put well beyond use.

    This is one of those films where editorial and political concerns about content seek to revise the truth. And under those strictures any comment about performances or technical graces is irrelevant.

    Absurdly this one part drama was split into two pieces by the BBC on the night it was shown, interrupted by the news - this only added to the fiction of the whole film.
  • comment
    • Author: Akinozuru
    I thought this piece of drama was fantastic. I'll admit i watched this drama out of morbid curiosity - how bad will it be - i couldnt have been more wrong. Within 10 minutes i was hooked into the two completly believable families lives. How nice to see a drama set in n. ireland about n. ireland but only using n.ireland as a backdrop. The politics were personal. In your face at times. But always personal and believable. It's hard to pick out individual performances, but colum convry as the ex IRA man trying to do right, trying to keep jis family together but always seeming to do wrong was outstanding. As for zara turner. I'm a convert. I never thought she could act before. Well done to the director for the performances he got from the kids, especially the youngest girl.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Louise Doran Louise Doran - Karen Norton
    Andrew Foott-Stephens Andrew Foott-Stephens - The Priest
    Bronagh Gallagher Bronagh Gallagher - Sarah Norton
    Emma Whyte Emma Whyte - Siobhan McClure
    Patrick O'Kane Patrick O'Kane - Peter Norton
    Cara Kelly Cara Kelly - Dawn
    Emma Aiken Emma Aiken - Debbie
    Zara Turner Zara Turner - Ann McClure
    Lauren McDonald Lauren McDonald - Aoife McClure
    Colum Convey Colum Convey - Gerry McClure
    Henry Deazley Henry Deazley - Tony McClure
    Amy Peden Amy Peden - Holy Cross Girl
    George Shane George Shane - Harry
    Fergal McElherron Fergal McElherron - Roy
    Brendan Mackey Brendan Mackey - Billy
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