Fifty Dead Men Walking

FIFTY DEAD MEN WALKING DEPICTS NORTHERN IRELAND AT ITS WORST
The title of the film Fifty Dead Men Walking, as explained at the end of the film, refers to the number of British police and soldiers whose lives were saved by Martin McGartland (played by Jim Sturgess), who spied for the British while working undercover for the Irish Republican Army from 1987-1991. Directed by Kari Skogland, the biopic describes how 22-year-old McGartland is recruited by Dean aka Fergus (played by Ben Kingsley) and then traces his movements inside the IRA and his reports to Fergus, who provides him with a car and money. But McGartland is finally caught by the IRA as a spy and tortured. Still alive, his fate is provided in titles at the end, which give some details of the 38-year occupation of Northern Ireland by the British military. The film is based on the 1997 book with the same title by Nicholas Davies and McGartland. Despite the grainy film quality and the jarring accents of the actors, the Political Film Society has nominated Fifty Dead Men Walking as best film exposé and best film on human rights and peace of 2009. MH