Irish accents, foreign voices: mediated agency and authenticity in 'In the Name of the Father' and 'Fifty Dead Men Walking'
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Given the intensity of narrative contestation over the public history of and discourse around the modern period of Northern Irish civil conflict known locally as ‘the Troubles’, for filmmakers from outside of Northern Ireland to be seen as making a legitimate contribution to existing debates, there is a pressure for their film texts to be read as ‘authentic’. This desire for authenticity fundamentally shapes the narrative approach taken by these filmmakers. Various filmmaking strategies have been employed in the pursuit of authenticity, but both Jim Sheridan’s In the Name of the Father (1993) and Kari Skogland’s Fifty Dead Men Walking (2008) have taken a distinctly narrative approach, relying upon local written autobiographical material. However, the way in which Sheridan and Skogland have sought to deploy the authenticity embedded in locally grounded source material flirts with self-defeatism as both films problematically obscure the limitations on agency imposed by the filmmakers on the local voices upon who claims of authenticity, and thus the films’ legitimacy, depend.
Ives-Allison, N. (2013). Irish accents, foreign voices: mediated agency and authenticity in 'In the Name of the Father' and 'Fifty Dead Men Walking'. Journal of Terrorism Research, 4(1), pp. 43-63.
Journal of Terrorism Research
This is an open access article published in Journal of Terrorism Research. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
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