Terrorism has become an unfortunate societal reality. News of senseless acts of violence is all-too-common, but seldom do stories put a truly human face on such events. Winner of the Discovery Award at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, OMAGH goes beyond the headlines to explore the impact of tragedies like these.
The film centers on the aftermath of August 15, 1998, the day an IRA bomb claimed 31 lives in Omagh, Northern Ireland. After his son's death in the blast, Michael Gallagher (Gerard McSorley) channels his grief to become the spokesman for the Omagh Support and Self Help Group. Their mission-to uncover the truth of what happened that day, and to hold all who were involved accountable for their actions.
Inspired by a documentary style that infuses a vivid and powerful, yet quiet, realism, Travis has crafted a moving and unique look at tragedy from the victims' perspective. Instead of leaning on gimmicks or the cliches of grief to elicit emotions, he relies on compelling material, strong cinematic instincts and a first-rate cast led by McSorley, who delivers a restrained and accomplished performance. OMAGH is a superb example of the resilience of the human spirit.