Buddy, a 9-year-old boy living in Belfast, Ireland in 1969 enjoys simple things – playing in the streets with his cousins, walking to school and working on his maths (homework) and going to the cinema and being dazzled by the films. He is loved and watched over by his older brother, his parents and his Pop and Granny (grandparents) as well as all of the people living in their tight-knit neighborhood where everyone knows everyone.
This safety and peace is shattered when “the troubles” explode on their street. A gang attacks the neighborhood, breaking windows, setting cars on fire and creating havoc, demanding that Catholics must leave. While Buddy and his family are Protestant and have no problems living next to Catholics, his father is pressured to either join the gangs or pay them, money that the family can’t afford.
They must now all face a terrible choice – stay in the place that they’ve always known and loved but which has become deadly dangerous, or move away for better opportunities but in a place where they know no one and no one knows them?
Directed and written (for which he received an Oscar) by Kenneth Branagh, Belfast features a collection of some of the finest actors alive today including Dame Judi Dench, Ciaran Hinds, Jamie Dornan and Catriona Balfe. Jude Hill, who plays Buddy is mesmerizing. Based on Kenneth Branagh’s own life story, this movie is by turns funny, heartbreaking and suspenseful but most of all, it’s about family love and the sacrifices one will make for them.