- The American Mag - https://theamericanmag.com -

In the Name of the Father

Those interested in post-9/11 rule of law and Guantanamo Bay should flip a page back to Jim Sheridan’s outstanding film, based on Gerry Conlon’s book “Proved Innocent.”

Belfast lowlife Conlon (Daniel Day-Lewis) is picked up by British police and charged as an IRA terrorist after pub bombings in Guildford, England in 1974. Terrified, he’s coerced into confessing. With IRA suspects at a premium, Conlon and four others are summarily convicted. Worse still, Conlon’s father is implicated by association and also imprisoned. Within this harrowing framework, the movie triumphs as a chronicle of Conlon’s evolving relationship with his relentlessly ethical father (the marvelous Peter Postlethwaite as Giuseppe Conlon) and defense attorney (Emma Thompson as Gareth Pierce).

In fact, father and son were jailed for 14 years before being cleared in 1989 of any association with the IRA. In fiction, the British criminal justice system takes whipping.