Magazine article New Internationalist

Jimmy's Hall

Magazine article New Internationalist

Jimmy's Hall

Article excerpt

Jimmy's Hall (108 minutes)

directed by Ken Loach

For what may be his last feature, Loach dramatizes the story of Jimmy Gralton, the only Irish citizen deported from Ireland as an illegal alien. Gralton was one of a group of socialists who, in the 1920s, built a community hall and ran a boxing club, classes on literature and politics, and, greatly offending the Catholic Church, Saturday night dances.

As you might expect from Loach, Jimmy's Hall is about class conflict, but you might not expect the lightness of tone, and a simple kindliness and geniality between people that is rare in cinema. The story is small - about a community hall - but it doesn't shy away from inhumanity and cruelty, or gloss over the wider forces at work. Landowners evict tenants. …

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