A Terrible Beauty | Chicago Reader

A Terrible Beauty

93 minutes 2013

Somewhere between a humdrum war movie and a History Channel program, this docudrama about the 1916 battle between Irish rebel forces and the British Army takes the novel approach of using actors to play key figures as they comment in talking-head interviews. Those same actors also reenact the buildup to, and outbreak of, the bloody skirmish, which left nearly 500 people dead (more than half of them civilians). The balance of the film trades in more traditional documentary tropes—archival footage, commentary from actual historians—which contribute to its severe identity crisis. Keith Farrell directed. In English and subtitled Gaelic.

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