“Lost Lives is a feature-length film inspired by the remarkable book of the same name. First published in 1999, it is a history book with a profound difference. It does not detail the acts of politicians and other major figures in the story of a conflict. Nor does it concern itself with talks or the breakdowns of talks. It was – and remains – the only book to record the circumstances of every single death in conflict. As such it is focused – through every meticulous entry – on the human and emotional cost of war. In the words of the five journalists who wrote the book over a period of seven years, it “should serve as a lasting reminder of why Northern Ireland should never again return to full-scale conflict, a lasting reminder of the sadness and the pity of it all, a lasting reminder that war is hell.”
“Our film is not a documentary but a filmic response to the book and what it represents. It is a film that weaves together high-end cinematography, archive film, a commissioned score performed by the Ulster Orchestra and a number of extracts from the book, read by the very best of our acting talent. For us it is a cinematic event that addresses the past – but looks to the future.
“Lost Lives is being released to mark the 50th anniversary of the start of the violence in Northern Ireland – a remarkable moment for all of us, not least those of us who lived through the conflict.”
Dermot Lavery and Michael Hewitt, co-directors of Lost Lives
A DoubleBand Films production for
BBC Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland Screen
Directed and Produced by:
DERMOT LAVERY AND MICHAEL HEWITT
Kenneth Branagh, Bríd Brennan, Roma Downey, Adrian Dunbar, Michelle Fairley, Bronagh Gallagher, Brendan Gleeson, Dan Gordon, Conleth Hill, Ciarán Hinds, Susan Lynch, Des McAleer, Martin McCann, Ian McElhinney, Sean McGinley, James Nesbitt, Liam Neeson, Emer O’Connor, Stephen Rea, Judith Roddy, Michael Smiley, Bronagh Waugh
“LOST LIVES shows us such profound loss through the telling of individual personal stories. The heartache and grief of these families is deeply touching. The film really lets you truly understand that the human cost was so high. Too high. The film reminds us that these people are no longer mere statistics in a book but flesh and blood human beings, they are someone’s wee boy or little girl , a loving wife or husband or a beloved mother or father. We saw too many funerals in Northern Ireland when I was growing up. Too many tears were shed. Too many hearts broken. So many lives were destroyed and we ask ‘for what?’ I pray this film is seen over and over and people watch and say ‘enough, no more, never again.”
“As the Endgame of Brexit seems to be approaching this film feels like a timely intervention. That the return of the border could happen and the inevitable social unrest will occur seems an utter betrayal of the hard fought peace that the Lost Lives of the War in the North demanded.”
“Brian Friel writes in his great play, Translations – “…..it is not the literal past, the ‘facts’ of history that shape us, but images of the past embodied in language.”
Historical facts and figures can often appear rather anodyne, but through the visual and audial language of film, we can relate to these facts and figures in a more humane and empathetic manner. I believe Lost Lives is a truly vital film – a potent reminder, to steer us away from violence in this present and possibly very volatile climate.”
3,700 people, and counting, lost their lives in the Troubles. Regardless of their circumstances, or what side, if any, they were on, the only certainty is this: They died. LOST LIVES might make us ask the question: Why?
LOST LIVES is a requiem. A reminder that war is hell. “that there will be no more lost lives”