In the year 2014, the movie “Jimmy’s Hall,” was produced and directed by Ken Loach. “Jimmy’s Hall,” takes place in Ireland during the early 1930s and tells the story of Jimmy Gralton. During the 1930s Jimmy Gralton was deported to the United States, however, later in the film Jimmy Gralton leads the Revolutionary Worker’s Group. Gralton builds a hall that teaches the people of Ireland different types of culture that Gralton go to experience when he was in the United States. “The Boxer,” is a movie that was filmed in the year 1997 and directed by Him Sheridan.
The movie centers on a former Irish pugilist and Provisional IRA member, Danny Flynn. Throughout the movie there is a chain of events that unravel that cause a variety of obstacles of Danny Flynn to overcome. Both, “The Boxer,” and “Jimmy’s Hall,” talk about the political, social, and historic events that happened during the time both movies were filmed around. “Jimmy’s Hall,” starts off with Jimmy Gralton moving back to his home back in Ireland. His mother needed his help to run the family farm that has been in their family for years.
However, there is a new government that came into power after the Civil War ended in Ireland. In the very beginning of the movie Gralton is stopped by a bunch of teenagers dancing on the side of the road. Gralton starts to get asked questions by the teenagers about the United States. What stuck out the most was that one of the girls said that her father hated Gralton, never understood why. Eventually, Gralton opens up a hall where people can come and enjoy a different culture. “Jimmy’s Hall,” really centers on the political tensions between the church, state, and the movement Jimmy is part of, from his pre-emigration history.
During one scene of the movie, the priest was calling out names of people who attended Jimmy’s Hall and one of the girl’s name was said and she burst out into laughter. In anger her father whipped her when once they returned home. Her father was yelling at her for disrespecting the priest, especially during mass, he was also yelling at her for disgracing her family and that if he ever saw her at that hall again the punishment would be crueler. That scene highlights the feud between the church and Gralton and how people were being punished because of Gralton when it was the peoples’ own decision to attend the hall.
One scene that stuck out the most was when the authorities tried to break into Gralton’s house because they had a warrant out for his arrest. However, Gralton escaped unfortunately people who belonged to the Catholic Church burned down Gralton’s family farm because of the hall he opened. Other than the political aspect shown in the movie “Jimmy’s Hall,” there is another aspect shown as well. “Jimmy’s Hall,” shows a social aspect as well how people in Ireland did not want to lose sight of who they are culturally.
Even though some people wanted to go to the hall and explore different cultures they were afraid to because of the possible consequences from the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church would go to extreme limits to get rid of Gralton they even tried to deport Gralton back to the United States, saying that his birth certificate was not valid anymore since he went to the United Sates. His mother even argued that she gave birth to him in Ireland but since he had an American passport they said he could be deported. Jimmy’s Hall,” is an educational movie that can help students get a better understanding on what the political situation was in Ireland during the 1930s.
“The Boxer,” is a movie about Danny Flynn, who was in prison for 14 years because of a stint he pulled. Flynn lived in Northern Ireland, and the way the movie portrayed the setting was violent and unsettling. Throughout the movie Flynn restores an old gymnasium to start up a boxing club for boys. However, while Flynn was digging through the worn down gymnasium, he came across a duffel bag filled with explosives that was hidden underneath the stage.
Since Flynn got rid of the bag of explosives he became enemies with a man named Harry who is an IRA lieutenant. Flynn, once being part of the Provisional Irelands Republican Army gets rid of the duffel bag in fear of what can happen to the people if the explosives stayed in the hands they were in. However, in response to Flynn getting rid of the explosives, Harry assassinates the police offer who donated equipment to Flynn’s boxing club, by plating explosives in his car so that when he turned the engine on the card exploded. This movie highlights a political aspect about the Provisional Irish Republican Army.
Also the Provisional Irish Republican Army was one of the most active republican paramilitary groups during the crisis in Northern Ireland. Since Flynn was in the Provisional IRA he believed that Northern Ireland should be removed from the United Kingdom. You can see how others reacted to the violence in the movie. There is one scene in the movie where Flynn was training and looking into a mirror and a gunshot almost hit him and shattered the mirror. Flynn then hears a banging coming from outside and sees a little child slamming a trash lid in the middle of the street.
After that you can see the police that are armed breaking into the apartment complex, also shooting rounds into the complex. These scenes show another aspect as well not only is a political confrontation there is a social issue presented as well. The neighborhood tells it all in the movie that people lived in constant fear at night because of all the events happening that involved the authorities. Also the movie portrays the past times in Ireland during this time. Boxing was a popular sport and throughout the movie you can feel the importance of people taking up boxing and the emotion people had walking into the ring.
After watching both “The Boxer,” and “Jimmy’s Hall,” I learned more about Ireland during the 1930s and about the Provisional Ireland Republican Army. I was able to get a better sense of what happened in Ireland. “The Boxer,” taught me about the struggles of being in the Provisional Ireland Republican Army and fighting to get Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom. However, “The Boxer,” also taught me about how popular boxing was and painted a vivid image how life was living in ‘The Troubles. ’ “Jimmy’s Hall,” taught me about the ongoing war between the state, Catholic Church, and the Revolutionary Worker’s Group.
After watching the movie I was surprised to see how much power the Catholic Church had in Ireland during the 1930s. Especially comparing the Catholic Church then to the Catholic Church now the difference is noticeable. However, I thought it was interesting that Jimmy Gralton was in a fight to add a different cultural experience and teach the people of Ireland about it. Both movies add an educational background and would defiantly show students if talking about the political conflicts in Ireland.