#184: In The Name of the Father (1993)

When and how did I watch this?

November 23rd, 2015, on Amazon Prime.

Had I seen this film already?


What did I know about the movie before watching it?

Daniel-Day Lewis stars in this film.  I was aware of his talent because of his leading role in one of my favorites, Last of the Mohicans, as well as recently being in the midst of Oscar-nominated roles and films.

What do I know about it now?

I didn’t realize this was based on the true story, which added to how riveting this film was.  Surrounded by political turmoil and a cultural revolution, a young man (Gerry) is thrust into a conviction for a crime he didn’t commit.  The remainder of the film addresses several themes during his imprisonment, none of which are “light”.  Tense and dramatic for the majority of the film, not a moment or piece of dialogue was wasted.  I was both relieved and indignant in the end. What I found fascinating was how an American film captured the sentiments of this foreign conflict, both on a wide and personal level.

What are some themes in the film?

Bureaucracy, discrimination, family, pride, hope, justice, self-determination

Did this affect me personally?

Yes.  It reminded me of the oppressive role of the British government for centuries.  This took place toward the end of their crumbling world empire. The father-son relationship hit home at times.

Why is this ranked #184?

It’s a quality film that deserves a little more attention than it has gotten.  I’d never heard of it, and I was pretty cognizant of what was being released at this time.  I think it’s ranked exactly where it should be.  It has the obligatory F-bombs, crime-drama, violence, drug use, etc., and I guess people like that stuff in their films.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She did, and she was shaken up by the end.

Would I watch it again?

It’s a tough movie to watch.  I’m not sure.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

Most people in the U.S. are likely unaware of what was going on in the late 70s overseas.  We were too busy fighting communism, dancing to horrible disco music, and yes, immersing ourselves in drug use.  This film is recommended viewing.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

Yes.  While it wasn’t some blockbuster film, it retains tactful historical perspective, addresses personal struggles, and moves along quite nicely.  I’m glad I saw this one.

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