Ghosts of our lives
Spectres of the past in recent Northern Irish cinema and television
in Northern Ireland a generation after Good Friday
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This chapter is intended to complement the two previous chapters by examining how the afterlives of the Troubles have been played out on the big and the small screen. Given that the political settlement in Northern Ireland made no meaningful provision for dealing with the multiple ‘legacy issues’ arising from the conflict, it has hardly been a surprise that the region’s violent recent past has come back to haunt it. One of the spaces in which this has been most evident is in the fictions scripted for cinema and television that have appeared since the restoration of devolved government in 2007. Employing Mark Fisher’s reading of the Derridean notion of ‘hauntology’ to frame our analysis, we examine a number of recent films and TV series concerned with Northern Ireland. In the world of cinema, we examine features such as Hunger, ’71 and Good Vibrations. On the small screen, we provide close readings of The Fall and Derry Girls. While these visual representations often differ greatly in terms of both tone and content, they all suggest that, even a generation after the end of the Troubles, Northern Ireland remains haunted not only by those that were lost during the conflict but also that which was lost in the transition to peace.

Northern Ireland a generation after Good Friday

Lost futures and new horizons in the ‘long peace’

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