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ARINS podcast 20: The Trouble with representing the Troubles in Cinema

02 March 2023

In this month’s ARINS podcast Rory Montgomery speaks to Professor Pat Brereton from DCU’s School of Communication  and Des O’Rawe from the School of Arts, English and Languages and the Mitchell Institute at QUB about the trouble with filming the Troubles and Northern Ireland. 

Drawing on Professor Brereton’s article on Troubles and Northern Ireland: Representations in Film of Belfast as a Site of Conflict and Dr. O’Rawe’s response addressing the smoke and mirrors approach to filming conflict. Brereton's "Teases out the Allusions" takes our understanding further. 

Together Brereton and O’Rawe interrogate the ways in which we view and represent ourselves and each other in film. The discussion explores how three films, Belfast, 71, and Odd Man Out, exhibit the way in which film plays with innocence, representation,  fractional identity, conflict, cliché, and nostalgia. By examining the way film can adopt and adapt historical narratives and often reimagine history, we can determine not only the ways in which cinema is propaganda but also the ways in which we process and understand conflict. 

Listen to this episode on Soundcloud, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.  


About the series 

This podcast series provides evidence-based research and analysis on the most significant questions of policy and public debate facing the island of Ireland, north and south. Host Rory Montgomery, MRIA, talks to authors of articles on topics such as cross border health co-operation; the need to regulate social media in referendums, education, cultural affairs and constitutional questions and the imperative for good data and the need to carry out impartial research. New episodes are released on the first Thursday of every month and can be found on our SoundCloud channel or any podcast platform.

About the project 

ARINS: Analysing and Researching Ireland North and South brings together experts to provide evidence-based research and analysis on the most significant questions of policy and public debate facing the island of Ireland, north and south. The project publishes, facilitates and disseminates research on the challenges and opportunities presented to the island in a post-Brexit context, with the intention of contributing to an informed public discourse. More information can be found at

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