Voices from the Grave: Documentary
Winner of the Irish Film and Television Academy award for best television documentary of 2011.
Voices from the Grave tells the story of the Northern Ireland Troubles through the unflinching testimony of two men who were on opposite sides of that bloody conflict, the IRA’s Brendan Hughes and the UVF’s David Ervine. Nearly ten years ago they talked to researchers from Boston College with the understanding that the interviews would be not be made public unless the interviewees either gave permission or died. Hughes and Ervine are both dead and this documentary tells the story of their wars in their own voices.
The stories of Brendan Hughes and David Ervine span the Northern Ireland Troubles. They talk about their motivations for joining the conflict, the daily planning of campaigns of violence, the close calls with death, the guilt and regret that come from violence and killing, the despair of hunger strikes, and the deadly hunt for spies and informers. It is also a story of betrayal and duplicity and the fate of combatants once their wars are over.
Voices from the Grave is directed by Kate O’Callaghan and Patrick Farrelly and written by Ed Moloney and Patrick Farrelly, based on the book by Ed Moloney. Made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and Radio Telefis Eireann. First broadcast on RTE1 on October 26, 2010.
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Reviews and Excerpt
Irish Times: “This extraordinary and compelling documentary by Patrick Farrelly is based both on the tapes and on Moloney’s book. Using archive footage, interviews with friends and family of Hughes and Ervine, and superb dramatic reconstruction (particularly Hughes’s daring escape from the Maze), it told the story of several key events from the late 1960s to the start of the peace process. The key to its power was eerie eyewitness testimony of the dead men talking.”