Sunday, October 1, 2017

No Stone Unturned (2017) NYFF 2017

Alex Gibney 's NO STONE UNTURNED was supposed to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival but  was pulled at the last minute for legal reasons. Five months later the legal twists have been ironed out and Gibney's film  had it's World Premiere at the New York FIlm Festival

NO STONE UNTURNED is the story of the 1994 Loughinisland massacre where two men burst into a small pub in Northern Ireland, far from "the troubles" and shot 11 people while they were watching a World Cup game. Six men were killed and five were wounded. The Country was outraged. The Police promised answers. However 23 years later the families still don't officially know who did it.

Gibney's film is a twisting turning tale that starts from a recreation of the massacre to then spin out as various parties to the massacre tell the story of what happened. It chillingly explains why there has been no real justice only decades of cover ups. It's a film so full of information that you will need a second time through it just to process everything Gibney is telling us.

Nominally the story of one tragedy the film is actually the story of the troubles in Northern Ireland in microcosm. Gibney's film reveals quite clearly the complete mess the authorities have made of a the country as the result of the military and police mixing with the various factions in deals with some truly terrible devils. The sins brought into the open here were played out across the country and were responsible for hundreds if not thousands of other deaths. As the film story plays out you'll want to cry since the system is such a mess that even now the truth (or the names of the killers) can't be officially released. (The holdup of the film's release is that Gibney names names and people are not happy about that).

By the end of the film you will be staring at the screen and simply shaking your head in disbelief.

If there is any problem with the film it comes from the structure of the film which gives us a great deal to process at the same time leaving the obtuse nature of the official documents intact. This results in a brief period of confusion as we have to piece together what they all mean and who the unnamed people are (Person a Police officer 2, ect). Its doesn't last long since once the curtain is lifted this becomes one of the most compelling and chilling films at this years New York Film Festival.

NO STONE UNTURNED is a compelling true crime story and is highly recommended.

The film plays again October 1 and 15. For more information go here

To hear Hubert and myself attempt to explain the film listen to our NYFF Hot Takes Podcast here

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