Ireland 1920. Damien is ready to leave his home at Cork and head to London, to practice medicine there. But he changes his mind when he sees that the violence he tries to avoid will always be there and haunt him. First he witnesses the death of his 17 year old friend, when a squad of British soldiers - the Black and Tans - beat him to death when he refuses to spell his name in English. Then, on the train platform, as he is about to leave, soldiers hit the train mechanic because he refuses to start the machine while British troops on board. It is the point where Damien decides he has to stay and fight for his country's freedom. He joins his brother Teddy and form a band of fighters, doing their own counterattacks. But the difficult part is yet to come for Damien. He is forced to execute a young farmhand when the boy betrays them to the British. The scene is really heartbreaking as Damien knows him since the boy was a child. He is a doctor, he was supposed to save lives, but now he has to take one, and mostly important, one of their own. He has his orders and he must obey. He hopes that “this Ireland we're fighting for is worth it”, he talks to himself full of pain.
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When his beloved Sinead suffers in the hands of soldiers that burn down her house, Damien there is nothing he can do, only stand and watch, because his team is outnumbered by the one of the brits.
The serene landscapes of Ireland come in contradiction with the brutalities of the oppressors and the battles for freedom. When the Anglo - Irish Treaty is signed he refuses to accept an Ireland with British government complicity, not truly autonomous, and he chooses opposite parts with his brother Teddy. The party becomes divided and the two parts find to fight each other, half still believing in a really independent Ireland and the other half accepting the treaty by the Brits. The outcome will be tragic as Damien is captured and refuses to disclose where is their leader and their arms. Teddy begs him to compromise or else he will be executed. But Damien suffered so much to give it up now. His life was changed for ever when he was forced to shoot that young farmhand, and he “won't sell out”, as he states to his brother. He writes his last letter to Sinead, his last goodbye. Teddy is torn apart as he is the one to give the execution command and bring the bad news with the last letter to Sinead.
The review of this Movie prepared by Mary Savvidou