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Proud to be sweet: Film’s spectacular success built on unapologetic nostalgia

Eimear McGovern


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Scenes from director Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast film

Scenes from director Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast film

(L to R) Jamie Dornan as "Pa", Ciaran Hinds as "Pop", Jude Hill as "Buddy", and Judi Dench as "Granny"

(L to R) Jamie Dornan as "Pa", Ciaran Hinds as "Pop", Jude Hill as "Buddy", and Judi Dench as "Granny"

Jude Hill as Buddy

Jude Hill as Buddy

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Scenes from director Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast film

Sitting in the cinema at a screening of Sir Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast, there were laughs at Buddy’s jokes, gasps at scenes of chaotic Troubles violence, and tears at heartfelt moments during a film that was shot mostly in black and white but had moments that showed the city of that era was anything but.

Branagh spent time during the coronavirus lockdowns working on his vision for the new film, but there’s no doubt it had been brewing in his head for some time.


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