Actor in tears over 'Bloody Sunday' film


Actor James Nesbitt, who stars in the British television series Cold Feet, wept openly yesterday after watching the film Bloody Sunday for the first time. The £3 million Granada Film production about the deaths of 13 civilians in Derry's Bogside almost 30 years ago was shown privately to the relatives of the victims in Derry's Millennium Forum yesterday afternoon.

Nesbitt, who plays the role of Protestant civil rights activist Ivan Cooper, described the film, which goes on general release on February 1st, as emotional.

During a private question- and-answer session after the film with the relatives of the victims and with several of those who were wounded on the day, Mr Nesbitt cried on the stage.

"I hadn't actually seen the film before today and I think Lazarus could be raised by this film, anyone would find it emotional," he said.

"I hope this film may awaken the hidden truths, I hope to God it will be part of the healing process and I hope it will not be about the re-opening of wounds but about closure. This film should have been made 29 years ago. I don't have a Protestant guilt about it because I was only seven when it happened and I don't feel a need to purge anything about my background.

"I'm from a Protestant background, I don't deny it, why should I deny it because it's my culture and I think that every culture has something to learn from this film. The families made me part of their family and as tough as it is for me to watch, it's a damn sight tougher for them," he said.

Many relatives of those who were killed on the day were upset after the film. Michael Bradley who was wounded on Bloody Sunday said the film brought back a lot of memories.

"It was very harrowing especially for the families who watched their loved ones being shot dead. It was very tense and watching my shooting on the big screen was very difficult."

Mr Ivan Cooper said he found the film extremely difficult to watch. "People were weeping and a lot of people were emotionally affected. The film has been made with great integrity. It will show people from a unionist background that those of us who marched on the day weren't communists, weren't republicans. We were people looking for civil rights and it's a very important film from the perspective of a British audience."

There will also be a private screening of another film about Bloody Sunday, entitled Sunday, written by Jimmy McGovern and produced by Channel 4, in Derry on Wednesday night.