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This movie opposes two different and opposed views of the world: that
of Jimmy Gralton, who apart from wanting to open a dance hall, is also
a left-wing idealist. Although Ken Loach makes not mystery of his
sympathies in this movie, as usual he remains even-handed, lets the
opposition have their say, and never makes the conservative side appear
as ridiculous or stupid. In fact the heart of the movie is the
confrontation between Jimmy Gralton and Father Sheridan, which despite
the depth of conflict, is fundamentally based on a grudging mutual
What, indeed, could be wrong with opening a dance hall and cultural
center? Well in the thirties Ireland was recovering from years of
bloody conflict, first the war for independence, followed by more years
of civil war. Father Sheridan argues that now is the time for
reconciliation, not for political agitation, and what he sees as
communist propaganda. It is time for being Irish together, for
listening to Irish music rather than "alien Jazz from deepest Africa".
Of course the Loach's sympathy (and ours) goes to the yearning of the
young people who have no place to go, no prospects, no jobs, and who
desperately want to find some joy, relief and self-expression. The
movie may be a bit slow at times, but it is deeply moving.
Tags for Jimmys Hall Full Movie
, Barry Ward
, Francis Magee
, Simone Kirby
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