mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE intersection OF art & life

Movie: "Omagh"

OmaghLast night we watched "Omagh" (2004), an Irish docu-drama about the aftermath of the 1998 Real IRA bombing that killed 29 people in Omagh, Northern Ireland. People thought the Troubles were over by 1998, so what happened and why weren't the police putting the bombers on trial?

Every time I start to wonder why Sunni and Shia Muslims can't get along, I think of Northern Ireland. Protestants and Catholics. It reminds me that most people just want to get along and live their quiet lives, but angry young people and politicians stoke the fires of hatred and division. Throw in a bit of religious fanaticism and you've got a formula for hell.

As with the 9/11 tragedy, it is the families of the bombing victims who insist that the incident be investigated and that politicians do the job we elected them for.

The families of Omagh were so angry and the bureaucrats so unresponsive, that I thought sure someone would decide the families needed their own vigilante justice. But this was a true story, outside the influence of American-Hollywood mythologies. Real people don't have the stomach for revenge killings. They don't have the energy for clever sting operations. But they do want justice.

I recommend the movie, which is at Blockbuster. Use the subtitle feature to understand the quiet Irish voices.

10.11.06

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