While the In the Name of the Father, starring Daniel Day Lewis, was released in 1993 – it begins as a depiction of historical events which started in 1974. It is a good movie; a compelling story. But even more interesting is that the themes of tyranny and terrorism so prevalent in today’s world, specifically in the United States, were there in England and Ireland nearly four decades ago.
The acts of terrorism by the IRA (or is it simply war to them) are up against the tyranny of England over the people of Ireland. In response to bombings – a law is passed to enable authorities to detain suspects of terrorism for up to 7 days without filing charges. In the film, it is during this 7 day detention of the innocent Gerry Conlon, played by Lewis, is himself tortured and terrorized by investigators until he eventually signs an admission of guilt. Sound familiar? Patriot Act? Rendition? Torture? Guantanamo Bay?
Great movie on its own – but it really resonates with the notion that governments have used the fear of terrorism to trample the rights of innocent people throughout the history of civilization. Perhaps none more so than the British Empire.