With Jimmy’s Hall, British director Ken Loach delivers an utterly watchable, ideologically important film about the history of unrest in Ireland.
The film tells the true story of Jimmy Gralton, leader of Ireland’s Revolutionary Worker’s Group. In 1932 — after the close of the Irish Civil War — Jimmy returns home from 10 years in the United States to help his aging mother on their family farm. When some disaffected local youths convince Jimmy to reopen the local community center (which he had helped build years ago), it draws the negative attention from the area’s repressive land barons and clergy — referred to as the “masters and pastors” — and conflict arises. One of Loach’s main talents as a director is his ability to represent real people on the screen. In this case, he does it to illustrate (in a remarkably dogma-free way) how the interests of average people conflict with those of the ruling class. It’s a lesson that is both historically accurate and relevant to today’s world. THE WORD: Ever a Hollywood outsider, Loach’s films may be politically progressive, but they are always humanist at heart. Don’t mistake this for a dreary political film; it’s stimulating, stirring and altogether enjoyable. COMING TO: Theaters
Last modified: July 27, 2017