Irishmen don’t surrender, at least not in this war they were involved. Jamie Dornan is in hero mode, while Mark Strong plays Conor Cruise O’Brien in Richie Smyth’s gripping war film set in 1961 Congo.
in September 1961, approximately 150 Irish soldiers, part of a UN peacekeeping force stationed in Jadotville, the Congo, were attacked by over 3000 mercenaries. They fought for 6 days, outnumbered, outgunned, and utterly overwhelmed. Very soon, it was clear that no aid would come. Their ammunition, appropriate for a UN peacekeeping force but not for an army under assault, would soon run out. The enemy would keep returning, stronger than the day before. But ‘A’ Company, led by Commander Pat Quinlan, kept fighting, against all odds – right to the bitter end.
It’s a fascinating story, one that I’m glad I now know about. It’s a story of heroism in its truest sense. These men weren’t fighting for their country – although their country, and its relatively non-confrontational identity define who they are – but they were fighting for something more sacred, something more abstract: Honour and duty.
3.5 out of 5 on our #SaltedPopcorn scale