The trailer for a new Irish film about Martin McGuinness and Iain Paisley has been released – and it looks like being a fascinating movie.
The film, called ‘The Journey’, will be released in the summer and will follow the stories of two of the most significant figures in recent Northern Irish history.
The Journey was written by Ulster author Colin Bateman, directed by Nick Hamm and stars Timothy Spall, Colm Meaney, Toby Stephens, Freddie Highmore and John Hurt.
Spall plays Paisley, while McGuinness is played by Meaney, who was nominated for a Best Actor award at the Irish Film and Television Awards for his performance.
The film centres around a fictional meeting between Sinn Fein’s McGuinness and the DUP’s Paisley. However, the majority of the film is based on true events.
Martin McGuinness was a former leader of the Provisional IRA and went on to become a high ranking Sinn Féin politician and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland.
Iain Paisley founded the Democratic Unionist Party. He was prominently and fiercely opposed to the Catholic Civil rights movement, which led to the outbreak of Troubles.
The two were fierce rivals and led their respective communities – Catholics and Protestants – through the decades of violence and killings that brought fear to the ordinary people in Northern Ireland as well as the UK.
The Good Friday Agreement in 1998, did a lot to bring peace between the communities and nearly a decade later there was another huge breakthrough in relations.
In 2007, The DUP had recently become the largest political party in Northern Ireland and agreed to share power with republican party Sinn Féin.
This meant the two former enemies were now working together to bring peace to Northern Ireland with Paisley as Northern Ireland’s First Minister and McGuinness as Deputy First Minister.
The Journey explores the tension between the two huge characters and the responsibilities that each carried. The story then looks at how two people with such different outlooks were ever able to get to the point where they were prepared to work together in peace.
One of the key lines of the film – “We’re on the verge of something that the wider world will applaud, but our own people will hate” – sums up immense the pressure that the two men were under.
Take a look at the video below.
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling