Directed by Alan Clarke, Written by A.F.N. Clarke, Produced by Terry Coles
Documentary-style drama following a platoon of British soldiers on patrol in South Armagh. The action is seen through the night-scope of one of the soldiers as the group comes under fire from an unseen enemy. The action and encounters with local residents are broken up by tense periods of walking, with little dialogue exchanged between characters, except to give or receive orders. The film avoids debate regarding the political or social issues, instead exploring the fear and confusion of the largely anonymous soldiers.
‘Contact’ by A.F.N. Clarke (Pan Books) ISBN-10: 0330282247 ISBN-13: 978-0330282246 Original transmission: BBC2 06/01/1985 (70mins)
Contact is one of a number of films which has been criticised for avoiding the difficult question of why British Soldiers were in Northern Ireland in the first place, or offering an opinion on their presence. However, the film was never meant as a political discourse regarding the conflict, or as a propaganda piece for any of the sides involved. Its success lies in the exploration of the consequences of the Troubles on the lives of the people affected.
Clip courtesy BBC Motion Gallery
Drama/Thriller (Feature) - Broadcast
WRITER(s)/ DIRECTOR(s)/ PRODUCER(s)
Sean Chapman - Platoon Commander
Steve Sweeney - Smith
Gary Hailes - Jones
Graham Fletcher-Cook - Rankin
John Blundell - Corporal
Ozzie Stevens - Lance Corporal
Steve Fletcher - Dawes
James V. Mathews