A heart felt film that hits all the right notes, Belfast is a Branagh masterpiece.
Belfast is a movie straight from Branagh’s own experience. A nine-year-old boy must chart
a path towards adulthood through a world that has suddenly turned upside down. His stable
and loving community and everything he thought he understood about life is changed
forever but joy, laughter, music and the formative magic of the movies remain.
Without a doubt this is Branagh's most personal film. He was a young boy in the north Ireland capitol in 1969. These were times that were tumultuous and death was around every corner. Yet beauty and a simplicity of life carried on. Branagh's muse 10 year old Jude Hill frames the perspective of the film as we learn about these events as he does in bits and pieces.
The film is shot in black and white for the most part with short explosions of color. This technique allows the viewer to travel back in time to the late 60's.
In the summer of 1969, nine-year-old Buddy knows exactly who he is and where he
belongs. He’s working-class, North Belfast, happy, loved and safe. His world is a fast and
funny street-life, lived large in the heart of a community that laughs together and sticks
But soon his world will change as a masked attack occurs and then a riot ending in a city wide conflict with religion fanning the flames of discontent,
Belfast surprised me and moved me unlike any film in recent memory. I grew up a decade later then this films setting and over here in the United States, but the sense of community and family resonated with me.
This movie is worth your time.
4 out of 5 stars