Friday, 11 January 2013


Paul Greengrass began his film-making career at Granada TV in Manchester in the 1980’s where he made the highly regarded documentary series World in Action known for it’s important news stories. This experience encouraged his interest in the Falklands war and the story of a young 18-year-old soldier, Philip Williams who 6 months after joining the army found himself at the height of battle. With the encouragement of Film 4, which was happy to nurture new talent, Greengrass went to visit Williams after he had left the army and the young man related his story of torment and bullying to the director who decided that this human account of a someone coming back from the dead who was initially excepted as a hero and then as a deserter, would make a great subject for his debut feature film. At this time Greengrass was filming The Live Aid Concert at Wembley and pitched his idea to Adrian Hughes and Tara Prem the producers of the concert who decided to produce what was to become Resurrected (1988). Based on the directors ideas Martin Allan wrote a screenplay that was to be a fictional tale but based on what Williams had related to Paul Greengrass.

This raw imaginative story of our time, filmed on location in and around Huddersfield Yorkshire, has David Thewlis, in what he counts as his debut feature film, playing Kevin Deakin the young soldier posted missing presumed dead in the Falklands who has a memorial service with full military honours back in the Lancashire village where he grew up. Seven weeks after going missing, to the embarrassment to all concerned, he turns up, confused, but very much alive. Fuelled by tabloid press stories accusing Deakin of desertion he is ostracised by the villagers and treated abysmally by his fellow soldier on returning to barracks.

Thatcher war cemented her power.

The Falklands conflict cemented Thatcher’s power over her party and parliament, encouraging the country to adopt a type of triumphalism which can been sampled in the powerful but unpleasant scenes of institutionalised bullying melted out by soldier’s in Deakin’s unit. Greengrass had previous experience of this subject when he made a World in Action which involved the suicide of a young soldier who been bullied. Maybe a little televisual but a very worthy debut for the director who went on to make more dramatisations of real life events including Bloody Sunday (2002), United 93 (2006) and Green Zone (2010). He was quoted as saying that he was very proud of his first film but would have made it slightly differently if he were to make it today.  Thewlis is superb as Deakin making the young soldier totally believable with great support from Tom Bell as his father and Rita Tushingham as his mother.

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