WPL Film Club Special Presentation: Michael Collins, April 10

WPL Film Club Special Presentation in the Library Community Room:  MICHAEL COLLINS


On Monday, April 10, from 6 pm-8:45 pm, please come to the Weston Public Library for a special showing of the film Michael Collins. Yes, this is also the night of the open forum for interim superintendent candidates, so you decide which one is right for you. In editorial-comment-land, let me just say that just about my favorite thing to read in the Library is Doc Crane’s write-ups of movies. My favorite this time is this very last line which contains the usual disclaimers and then this cover warning about the film containing: “all the violence associated with asymmetrical warfare, including car bombings, assassinations, and the Black & Tans doing their worst.” Indeed.

Here’s the write-up in its entirety or you can see it on the WPL website here.


For all the tragedy and turbulence of Irish history, few periods stand out quite like the 1916-22 War of Independence and the 1922-23 Civil War, culminating in the end of seven-hundred years of English domination.

If there is a definitive film on the subject, Neil Jordan’s Michael Collins is the best candidate, with Liam Neeson playing the charismatic rebel leader and Alan Rickman as his revolutionary commander and later political nemesis, Éamon de Valera. What makes Collins notable for his time is that he went from being a civil servant to a soldier who rose through the republican ranks and become de Valera’s intelligence chief, waging a guerrilla war that the British Army could not squelch.

Sent as a negotiator to London, Collins returned with a compromise Anglo-Irish Treaty that offered a Free State within the British Empire instead of a fully independent Irish Replublic. Collins saw the treaty as the “freedom to achieve freedom.” De Valera, whose political instincts kept him from attending the negotiations, saw the treaty as a betrayal, and the revolutionary movement split into opposing factions that faced off during a brutal Civil War that followed the launching of the Free State.

The film follows Collins’ life from cunning insurgent to political commander-in-chief, accomplishing much, but at great cost, while his friend-turned-rival DeValera capitalized on his achievements and launched an independent Ireland on less-than-desirable terms.

BE ADVISED–– This film is rated R, with smoking, drinking, profanity, political intrigue, and all the violence associated with asymmetrical warfare, including car bombings, assassinations, and the Black & Tans doing their worst.

MICHAEL COLLINS (1996), 132 minutes

MONDAY, APRIL 10, 6:00—8:45 PM at the Community Room, Weston Public Library 87 School Street


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