Monday, November 05, 2007

The Emerald Isle With Drugs On The Side....

The usual picture of Ireland promoted by Bord Failte [the Irish tourism board] and American travel agents, and outfits trying to fly you there, is green and misty and romantic. A bicycle propped against the wall of a quaint village pub; a cottage window bedecked with lace curtains and pots of scarlet geraniums; sheep being herded along a narrow country lane; cattle being driven home, with dog and stick, for milking; freckled, redhaired children with shy smiles; fish leaping from sparkling lakes, just begging you to reel them in. You’ve seen them all. They make you want to pack your bags and go there tomorrow.

Last night I saw a different picture of Ireland. Not one I experienced growing up, but just as true. I watched the movie “Veronica Guerin.” She was an Irish journalist who was murdered in 1996 because she had the courage [foolhardiness?] to write about and expose druglords in Dublin, on whom the government and the powers that be were turning a blind eye.

The movie opens with a scene in bleak and squalid government housing. Small children are playing with used hypodermic needles. Vacant faced, dull-eyed teens sit and lie aimlessly about. Veronica Guerin, played by Cate Blanchett, has come to see for herself. She is appalled, and makes it her mission to bring the people behind it all, brazenly flaunting their ill-gotten wealth and driving their expensive cars, to justice. She is playing with fire, but keeps doggedly writing. She pays with her life, but her murder finally made the authorities sit up and do something about the problem.

Cate Blanchett does a fantastic job. She even does a creditable Irish accent! If you are looking for a riveting few hours, check it out. It might not make you want to jump on a plane to the Emerald Isle tomorrow, but it's a great story about a problem that is so widespread no country or society is safe. And it's a tribute to a courageous woman who had the guts to try to do something about it.

6 comments:

meggie said...

I have watched that movie Molly. It made me cry. What a brave & courageous woman she was. Her death was not in vain, if something was done about it all.
It is an insidious sickness in the world, & no place on earth seems safe from the pollution of drugs.

Zanna, travelling tart, now back in residence said...

Thanks Molly - a good honest review - I'll check it out ... and know what you mean about the difference between what the Tourist Board promotes and the actual reality,
Z xx

thailandchani said...

The Tourist Board of any location and the realities are usually contradictory. :) Most of the movies I've ever seen about Ireland (since Ryan's Daughter 35 years ago or so) involve the IRA.

sMC said...

The Good The Bad and The Ugly are everywhere. We just have to seek out the best we can and each do our bit.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

I lived in Dublin for a year and half and one soon becomes aware that it's not all green hills, rainbow covered lakes and leprechauns. I will definitely look out for the movie - thanks for the heads up, Molly.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I so admire that kind of courage. I will definitely see the movie, thank you. And Cate Blanchett is great.