Film Reviews The worse conditions are the better the movie that can be made from them

. That's what enables CAL, a story of love and killings in Northern Ireland, to become a profoundly moving treatment of the country's current "troubles". A picture of this quality honours the country and people that make it. This compelling romantic drama which, noted the Daily Mail, has "moments of great tenderness and unexpected wit" gains considerably in its dramatic impact from the superbly realized background of the bitter sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. Cal played by John Lynch in a very impressive film debut is a 19 year old unemployed Catholic who is reluctantly drawn into the dangerous and violent world of violent Republicanism becoming an accomplice in the murder of a Protestant policeman. When he gets a job on the lonely farm where the dead man's widow - Helen Mirren - lives with her in-laws, Cal finds himself drawn to her. It is the start of a passionate affair between the guilt-ridden youth and the unhappy woman, a moving romance that ultimately ends in tragedy. For Cal, some of the choices are devastatingly simple - he can work in the abattoir that nauseates him or he can join the dole queue; he can brood on his past or plan a future with Marcella. Springing out of the fear and violence of Ulster, Cal is a haunting love story in a land where tenderness and innocence can only flicker briefly in the dark. Summary of the book The story "CAL" by Bernard Mac Laverty takes place in Northern Ireland (Ulster). The young Irishman Cal lives alone with his father Shamie (both are Catholics) in a town near Belfast in which mainly Protestants live. Cal's mother died when he was 8 years old. Life there isn't easy for Cal. Additionally, Cal sympathizes with the IRA (= Irish Republican Army). Together with his friends Crilly and Skeffington, who are members of the IRA, too, Cal plans criminal acts. Another problem for him is being out of work. So he has time enough to visit the library. One day when he's there to borrow a book he sees a woman, Marcella. He falls in love with her and must always think of this woman. Marcella is much older than Cal, she is a widow and has a daughter. Because of being unemployed Shamie offers Cal a little job: he asks him to sell some wood. Cal accepts and so he tries to sell as much wood as possible. Cal drives to a farm which belongs to the Mortons. There a woman buys the trees or rather logs and asks him to cut them into smaller pieces. A bit later the woman turns out to be Marcella's mother-in-law. The Mortons offer Cal a job on the farm. He has a chance to see Marcella every day! With working on the farm he gets more and more in contact with the Morton family and falls in love with Marcella. But there is something threatening in the air: Cal took part in the murder of her husband by driving the car for the murderer. Nobody knows this. Time passes and Cal tries to separate from his "friends" Crilly and Skeffington and the IRA after having been the driver for some of their illegal activities. Later in the story Shamie's and Cal's house is burned down by militant Protestants, so Cal lives secretely in a derelict building on the farm. When the Mortons discover it, he's allowed to stay there. At the end of the story Marcella falls in love with Cal and both become lovers until finally the police arrest him.

IRELAND CONFLICT 4th century BC Celts settled in Ireland; high level in the fine arts and music 432 Romans conquered England but not Ireland 1171 Royal English Army invaded Ireland; small part around Dublin under English control; Henry II becomes Lord of Ireland After the Norman Invasion in 1170, Henry II of England attached Ireland to his kingdom by establishing control in an area around Dublin. The Irish adopted English administrative practices and the English language while receiving protection and leadership from London. The British tried to extend their domination on the rest of Ireland, but did not succeed until the sixteenth century. For the Irish population England therefore became a threat for Ireland. 16th century England settled Protestants from Scotland in Ulster on the best land In 1609, under the reign of Queen Elizabeth, England controlled Ireland, with the exception of the provinces of Ulster. They had built an effective alliance against the British Kingdom and their Army. After long fights Ulster was brought under English control and the leaders of Ireland left Ulster for Europe. By 1703, barely 5% of Ulster was in the hands of Catholic Irish. The native Irishmen were then excluded from the towns and had to settle in the mountains and bogs on the margins of the land they had owned. The plantation of Ulster was the beginning of a new culture in Ireland with different languages and several foreign communities. Mainly, two hostile groups occupied the region. That's why the situation then could be called the beginning of the conflicts today. 1650 Oliver Cromwell invaded Ireland; population nearly halfed within 10 years; Irish shipped to America 1801 Ireland under British control; Irish language forbidden; In 1801, Westminster abolished the Irish parliament and government to gain more direct control over the Irish. The Act of Union created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. During the next century movements were attempted to overthrow the Union. Some of these movements were parliamentary, some of them took place with physical force. 1845 ff. Great Famine; more than 1.000.000 people emigrated to the US 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin During the Easter week of 1916 an armed rising was attempted, but did not succeed. The leaders were executed which created a wave of sympathy for the IRA and Sinn Fein. In 1918, Sinn Fein replaced the old Irish Parliament and established its own Irish Parliament. The resulting Anglo-Irish War between Republicans (IRA) and Britain was ended by peace treaties. From then on, Ulster Protestants succeeded in their position to exclude Northern Ireland (Ulster) from the Home Rule arrangements. The Government of Irish Act recognised and confirmed their suggestion by partitioning the island. The following Civil War in 1921 saw two positions. Those, who were willing to accept the treaty and those, who thought that living in Northern Ireland was a betrayal. Northern Ireland consisted of six county administrations which could be easily held by the British Union. For the security of Northern Ireland, the British MPs established a police force and a police reserve to prevent the Irish from beginning another civil war. 1949 Republic of Ireland (Eire) founded; Ulster remained British

Civil Rights Movement after 1969 The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association was founded in 1967 to demand liberal reforms including a policy change of the discrimination in the allocation of jobs and houses. The resulting civil disorder could not be managed by the local administration, therefore the British government sent in troops to enforce order and imposed Direct Rule on Northern Ireland. Around 1969-70 the militant fights between the IRA and the British Forces started, reaching a sad top in 1972 with 468 people killed. On January the 30th 1972, the British Army's first Parachute Regiment opened fire on unarmed civilian demonstrators in Derry, killing 13 of them. This day is also known as Bloody Sunday. It still is one of the key-events of 'The Troubles' which actually were rather a civil war. Peace Talks & The Agreement It took another 22 years on the long road to the talks table until the first Ceasefire Declaration on August 31st, 1994 was announced by the IRA. This marked the beginning of the Peace Process which in April 1998 resulted in an "Agreement covering civil rights issues and relationships". This agreement could be put into practise despite the neglecting attitude of fringe groups on both sides and the fact that the old thinking still prevailed with many people. The Main Parties Unionists: Unionists are the successors of those who opposed Home Rule in the 19th century. The two main parties are: Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) with party leader David Trimble. The UUP formed the government from 1921-1972. The UUP is rather unwilling to share the executive power with non-Unionists parties and is opposed to the involvement of the Irish Republic in Northern Ireland. Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) with its party leader Ian Paisley. The DUP holds all positions much more extremely than the UUP. Ian Paisley, Reverend of a Free Presbyterian Church in Belfast, is an absolute opponent of the Catholic church. Nationalists: The main party of the Nationalists is the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SLDP), led by John Hume. The main aim of the Nationalists is to unite Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland. Unlike Sinn Fein, who wants to "free" Northern Ireland of the British by more drastic and perhaps more militant methods, the SLDP campaigns for peaceful reforms. Sinn Féin ("We Ourselves") is committed to a united Ireland. This party has historic links to the IRA although it has long insisted that the organisations are separate. It is led by Gerry Adams. "Our objective is to end British rule in Ireland. We seek national self-determination, the unity and independence of Ireland as a sovereign state" (from: Sinn Féin Homepage). The Paramilitary Organisations The republican paramilitary organisations, of which the IRA is by far the most important, believe that only force will remove the British from Ireland. Initially they saw themselves as defenders of the Northern Catholic minority, but later spread their military activities throughout Northern Ireland, Britain and Europe. There is disagreement about whether loyalist violence is essentially reactive, but certainly the pattern of loyalist violence has shadowed republican violence. There has been a major shift in the form of violence since 1990, with loyalists for the first time killing more victims than republicans. It has been speculated that this rise in loyalist violence may be connected to the failure of recent political talks."

The Terrorist Threat in Northern Ireland The Armed Forces in Northern Ireland support the RUC in operations against both Republican and Loyalist terrorists. Currently, both groupings retain their arsenals of weapons, ammunition and explosives. Whilst the loyalists are currently maintaining their ceasefire, they are capable of using violence for their own political ends. Cal – a film about the Northern Ireland Conflict

How the conflict has an influence on Northern Ireland’s inhabitants
It is often alleged that the Northern Ireland Conflict has a religious background. Nonetheless the truth is that it is merely a political one. Without a doubt it is, like most other conflicts about power and influence. One fraction, the catholic inhabitants of Ireland want it to belong to the Republic of Ireland, which explains the fact why they are called Republicans. On the other side, there are the Loyalists, socalled because they are loyal to Great Britain in which Northern Ireland is integrated since its conquest by the Protestants in 1641. Coexistence and co-operation between the two religious groups has always been difficult but since 1969 tensions have dramatically increased due to the formation of paramilitary groups on both sides. Barbed wire, soldiers all over the place and violence belong to Northern Ireland’s everyday life. These facts are all revealed in the movie “Cal”. The motion picture, named after its main character, describes the difficult situation Ireland is/was in a very detailed way. The dark colours used in the movie represent extremely well the depressive and hopeless situation of young people in Northern Ireland. Remarkably no nice weather is ever shown in the whole movie, which cannot only be explained by Ireland’s geographic situation but mostly by the director’s aim to indicate Cal’s desperate situation. On the one hand the movie tells us a very personal story about the main-character’s life. On the other hand it sometimes also shows the Northern Ireland Conflict in graphic detail and in all its brutality. This conflict, which has actually nearly been a civil war from 1969 up to 1994, is very explicitly depicted in the movie. It is not only personal fates that are portrayed, but also the fate of thousands of people, of a whole generation. On the one hand they are terrorised by the opposing group’s paramilitaries and on the other hand they are put under pressure by their own groups to support and help them. This is exactly what happens to Cal. He is beaten up by a group of young Protestants, due to the fact that he is Catholic and lives in a Protestant residential area. Nonetheless he is traumatised from his experience as a driver for the IRA and therefore does not want to turn to this Catholic organisation for help – due to the fact that they are recruiting any young Catholic man for their terrorist attacks. Nevertheless a former friend of his, who is still IRA-member contacts him and forces him to take part in another terrorist coup. Owing to Cal’s refusal to cooperate he is brought to the IRA’s district leader Mr Skeffington who intimidates him and makes him take part in the end. Another thing that strongly influences people and the way they live are the checkpoints, which can basically be found everywhere. Northern Ireland’s cities are full of checkpoints, barbed wire and British soldiers. These measures have been taken to prevent a full-scale bloodshed. All these things are part of the everyday life and many people cannot imagine life any different anymore. In Cal it is indicated that people have already gotten used to all these things and do not see it as an inconvenience anymore. It is clear that the conflict plays a major part in the lives of people who live in Northern Ireland. Nonetheless we should not forget that it is already their daily routine and that they have gotten used to this problem. Of course many problems arise owing to this obviously never-ending story of bloodshed and diverse opinions. As the film shows very well your job, housing and the places where you go shopping are determined by the religious belief you follow.

The Management and Resolution of the Conflict
"'The Northern Irish problem' is a term widely used in Northern Ireland and outside as if there were an agreed and universal understanding of what it means. It is more accurate, and more productive, to consider the issue, not as a 'problem' with the implication that a solution lies around the corner for anyone ingenious enough to find it, but as a tangle of interrelated problems: There is a central constitutional problem: what should be the political context for the people of Northern Ireland? Integration with Britain? A united Ireland; independence? There is a continuing problem of social and economic inequalities, especially in the field of employment; there is a problem of cultural identity, relating to education, to the Irish language and to a wide range of cultural differences; there is clearly a problem of security; there is a problem of religious difference; there is certainly a problem of the day-today relationships between the people who live in Northern Ireland. All of these are elements of the problem, but none can claim dominance. Each affects the others. Any approach to change needs to take into account all elements of the problem. Viewed against this broader context, an evaluation of conflict relations policy over the last 20 years can point to some successes: discrimination in the allocation of housing, a major grievance in 1969, has been removed; integrated schooling has been encouraged, and the segregated schools attended by the vast majority of children are required to introduce the concepts of cultural diversity and mutual understanding; minority cultural expression, especially through the use of the Irish language, has been allowed and even encouraged through the acceptance of a small number of Irish language schools. At local government level, 11 of Northern Ireland's 26 councils were in 1993 operating a power-sharing regime. On the other side of the balance, a number of major problems remain. Catholics are much more likely to be unemployed than are Protestants, more than twice as likely in the case of males. The problem of violence remains as persistent as ever. Progress towards a more general political solution has been disappointing. Since the introduction of direct rule from Westminster in 1972 there have been six attempts to reach a political accord. Prior to 1993 Sinn Féin was excluded from all major political talks, mainly because unionist parties refused to talk with terrorists. In 1988 and 1993, however, those whom they regarded as the leaders of the SDLP and Sinn Féin held two series of bilateral talks. The consequences remain to be seen. 1993: The Downing Street Declaration, jointly announced by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, John Major, and the Irish Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds, introduced for the first time the possibility of Sinn Féin becoming involved in talks. The condition was an ending of violence for at least three months.

The Northern Ireland Conflict
Northern Ireland is split into two camps: the Catholics and the Protestants. It is remarkable that although these are two religious groups it is not a religious but a political conflict. The question argued about for hundreds of years is whether Northern Ireland is to belong to Great Britain or to Ireland. In the last few decades this conflict has culminated in a great bloodshed. The IRA and other paramilitary groups were formed. Some experts are of the opinion that violence is not only used to bring the other camp to agree to their opponents’ ideas but also to make the world public aware of the Northern Ireland Conflict. In recent years a peace-process has been started and violence reduced to a minimum. Although the situation has already improved extensively the last step towards peace and so-called “normality” has not yet been taken. The DUP wants photographical evidence that the IRA really destroys her weapons. Nonetheless the latter will not agree to this because this could be perceived as an act of weakness and it would be a great humiliation for them. On the long run this will lead to a delay of the peace-process but experts think that eventually the photos will be published and peace will be possible.

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