Ascendancy

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This continues the BFI Production Department's concern with Northern Ireland (Cross and Passion, Maeve) while clearly also inten- ded to reach the art house audience hooked by The Draughtsman's Contract. A history lesson, around the exploitation of Irish sectarian differences in the interests of the British ruling class of 1920, is therefore rendered as costume drama. The spectator's stand-in here is Julie Covington, whose emotional/physical paralysis, occasioned by the death of her brother in World War I, gives way to an awareness of the Trouble outside. Unfortunately, and symptomatically, she functions as an obvious symbol but carries little dramatic weight (despite an excellent performance). The result seems unlikely to provoke or enlighten audiences.

By: SJ

Release details

Duration: 85 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Edward Bennett
Screenwriter: Edward Bennett, Nigel Gearing
Cast: Julie Covington
Ian Charleson
John Phillips
Susan Engel
Philip Locke