Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  14 minutes
Date:  1996
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 10-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
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This title is included in the following collections: The Docuseek2 Complete Collection 2nd Edition
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The Jackets Green

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Distinguished documentarian Arthur MacCaig asks Northern Ireland's Irish Republicans a simple question: "What are you fighting for?"

The Jackets Green

"What are you fighting for?"

Armed simply with this question, Arthur Mac Caig goes to Northern Ireland to confront Irish Republicans. The result is an inside look at the ghettos of Belfast.

The first image is of a young man marching through the city streets. He is 20 years old, but very much a child. His face belies enormous tension, as does the tight grip on his rifle. His teeth are clenched in fear. Rita O'Hare, director of "Republican News," a nationalist weekly, was severely wounded by British soldiers. Later imprisoned for 3 years, she now lives in exile in the South of Ireland. Then there is Brendan Hughes, former IRA leader, who has spent 13 years in prison, conducted a 53 day hunger strike, and been tortured on several occasions. He says, "In the beginning when a soldier or a policeman had been killed, I was happy. But now I feel sadness. I don't wish the death of anyone, but here the only reality is war."

THE JACKETS GREEN calls no one to arms, but offers simple portraits of a few men and women most often represented as fanatical zealots. As they speak candidly about their cause, it becomes difficult to continue branding them as "terrorists."

"An expressionistic and very lyrical trip through the streets of Belfast. [Mac Caig's] camera, subjective as it may be, delivers rare emotional forces."—Humanité (Paris)

"The images carry an emotional charge that is incompatible with objectivity. Rather, we have a poem about an endless revolt, the lament of the IRA, and of British torture. There are the troubled looks of the children, songs that warm the heart and the cold prisons that destroy them."—Antoine Perraued, Telerama (Paris)


Main credits

Mac Caig, Arthur (film director)

Other credits

Image and sound, Mick Collins; editor, Arthur Mac Caig; music: Enya, Bridge Kernan, Christy Moore.

Distributor credits

A Video by Arthur MacCaig

Docuseek2 subjects

Conflict Resolution
Human Rights
Western Europe

Distributor subjects

Conflict Resolution
Human Rights
Western Europe


IRA; Ireland; England; human rights; video; "The Jackets Green"; Icarus Films; "The Jackets Green"; Icarus Films

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