Dir: Arthur MacCaig, 1979.
99 min. Ireland/France.


Special Thanks to Icarus Films and Donal Foreman

How to wield a camera in the service of a struggle? Not only to analyze, but to further it? How to implement montage as a weapon? To aid the insurgents, narratively and materially? Most importantly, how to get organized? How to win?

These are the critical questions that haunt The Patriot Game, through the historical lens of the Irish nationalist movement. It is not only the story of a people fighting for autonomy, but also of a documentarian following the irresistible call towards becoming a partisan.

“In The Patriot Game we try to show what is, in reality, happening in Ireland, to show what is certainly the most extensive, determined working-class struggle in Europe. And apart from the Basques and their organization ETA, it is the only struggle in which the entire population, armed and mobilized, has successfully faced up to the most sophisticated and brutal counterinsurgency techniques ever experimented with in an industrial, urban society.” -Arthur MacCaig, director, 1979

“This extraordinary and moving documentary reviews ten years of armed warfare by the IRA and places today’s headlines in their proper political and economic context. Through vivid footage of street battles and interviews with participants, THE PATRIOT GAME forcefully debunks the twin myths that the IRA is a ‘terrorist organization’ fighting ‘a religious war.'”—Kevin J. Kelley, The Guardian

“Informative, vivid, and partisan. The footage of urban guerillas is extraordinary. I’ve seen a number of films on Northern Ireland, none have depicted the situation this graphically.”—J. Hoberman, Village Voice

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