No Stone Unturned

Living in California has its pros and cons. The weather is great but the strong Irish communities here don’t get as much love as they do in New York or Boston. It’s rare that the West Coast gets concerts, political visits, or films out of Ireland but that’s not to say that we don’t seek them out. We do have fairs, film festivals, and other events throughout the year but to see current news and films, we often have to trick the location sensors in our internet browsers so we can scour the internet for hours on end until we find an article, a link, or a video. That determination is how I’ve been lucky enough to see many fine Irish films, despite their lack of distribution in the states. This list now includes “No Stone Unturned,” a riveting and super important documentary by Alex Gibney about the brutal, “unsolved” murders of six people in a Loughinisland, County Down pub during the 1994 World Cup.

Despite the critical acclaim of the film and its numerous nominations on the awards circuit, the movie has not been widely screened in the United States. American distribution companies don’t often pick up real Irish films – especially when they involve the conflict in the North of Ireland or police collusion. There are some exceptions to that rule of course, but not many. Sometimes you can find them on Amazon Prime if you have a subscription but if you don’t, you’re out of luck. This leaves those of us who are hungry for news and cinema from the Emerald Isle little choice but to “steal” many of the important films of the day. It doesn’t give back to the hard-working writers or directors of these masterpieces, but it does allow for a wider audience. With that in mind, here’s a link to the full movie on YouTube. I doubt it will be there long, but you can find the full documentary here.

Apologies to Mr. Gibney and the rest of the dedicated crew for sharing it, but the subject matter SHOULD be seen by everyone, whether in the cinema or not. The families’ struggles for justice should be as widely disseminated as possible and if that means missing out on a monthly subscription fee or a box office ticket or two, well, I hope they understand.

This documentary is brilliant and important but it is also controversial. Gibney and crew name the (alleged) murderers that have never been charged with the cold-blooded killings and the film shows their faces. It calls out the police for their clear and deliberate mishandling of the case. And if the police are to be believed, some of the source materials that the filmmakers used for these revelations, may have even been stolen from them.  This film doesn’t shy away from the horrifying massacre, the devastated families, or the fumbles of the police, and the fact that the PSNI are more willing to arrest the journalists who made the film than they are to arrest the (alleged) killers that the film reveals is telling. It is just another example of what is wrong in the North when it comes to the broken cycle of legacy issues, collusion, and “unsolved” crimes.

Watch the documentary wherever you are and however you can. It’s groundbreaking, gut-wrenching and a complete stunner in the not-so-large realm of movies that deal with police misconduct and/or the conflict known as the “Troubles.” The survivors and the families of the victims need to be heard after being patient and silent for far too long. They deserve your attention (at least!) and so does Gibney’s astonishingly frank film.

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