Words by Benjamin Pinsent
It seems hard to imagine a lot of things that existed in the past from the Roman Empire to the Dark Ages. Some things however are not so hard to remember like the Cold War and the mounting violence between Britain and Ireland.
‘Shadow Dancer’ is an exercise in reminding those who lived through those uncertain times that the violence only ended relative recently. It is based around Colette McVeigh, an IRA member turned British informant, trying to deal with her position between to very different sides.
The film is of very high quality, it is well shot, paced and acted, though at times mumbling and thick accents make it hard to pick out dialogue. However it somehow feels cold; there is no real tension and a lack of character ark for any of the main characters. The only sympathy Colette gains is because she has a son, and the only character that the audience feel any sympathy for appears underutilised.
It must be mentioned that one needs a rudimentary understanding of the politics of the time. Being aged about one when peace talks started this critic was completely unaware of the turmoil unfolding across the Irish sea. This also detracts from what is a very enlightening film.