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International Film Series Takes ‘Name of the Father’

In the Name of the Father promo
Film still from 'In the Name of the Father'

Oklahoma City University’s annual international film series will continue at 2 p.m. Sunday with Jim Sheridan’s 1993 hit film “In the Name of the Father.” The screening is free to the public in the Kerr McGee Auditorium in Meinders School of Business at N.W. 27th Street and McKinley Avenue.

Nominated for multiple Academy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTA awards, as well as the Humanitas Prize, the film depicts the struggles of a family caught in the political crosshairs of the “troubles” in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. The film is an adaptation of Gerry Conlon’s memoir of the same title.

Daniel Day Lewis portrays Conlon, a young, unemployed man and sometimes petty thief from the Catholic neighborhood of Belfast. Gerry's main interests are getting drunk and partying, much to the dismay of his quiet, frail father Giuseppe (Pete Postlethwaite), who sends his son to England to avoid his getting on the wrong side of the Irish Republican Army. In London, Gerry is arrested for involvement in an IRA bombing that occurs shortly after his arrival. Innocent but forced to confess, he is sentenced to life imprisonment as one of the “Guildford Four,” and his father also ends up imprisoned in an unlikely conspiracy case.

The struggles of the father and son, individually and together, provide a depiction of reconciliation among the ongoing combat between religious and political factions in strife-torn Northern Ireland.

On its release 24 years ago, film critic Roger Ebert stated, “[Daniel Day-Lewis] proves here once again that he is one of the most talented and interesting actors of his generation.” Critic Kenneth Turan called the film “a model of this kind of engaged, enraged filmmaking.”

Series director Tracy Floreani said she and her advisory committee wanted this year’s film series, based on the theme “Picturing Reconciliation,” to take on a positive theme in light of the many global crises and cultural divides occurring in recent times.

“All of these films deal with the idea of reconciliation in some way, whether people from warring factions trying to understand one another, or people treading the difficult terrain of forgiveness or acceptance,” Floreani said.

Upcoming films in the series include:

  • Oct. 22,Tanna” by Martin Butler and Brantley Dean (Vanuatu/Australia (2015))
  • Nov. 5, “Ma Vie en Rose” by Alain Berliner (France (1997))

All films screen Sundays at 2 p.m. in the Kerr McGee Auditorium. Admission is free to the public, but donations help to maintain the Film Institute’s mission.

A discussion session follows each film for those who wish to stay, and a list of theme-based recommended readings and podcasts will be available at each screening.

For more information visit www.okcufilmlit.org, call 405-208-5707 or email [email protected].

The Film Institute is supported by the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment Fund for the University’s Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film and Literature.

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