Northern Ireland and the problem of identity in Divorcing Jack (1998) and Wild About Harry (2000)
The dominant theorization of contemporary British cinema is one in which multiple axes of identification (race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, region) are contained within an overarching concept of hybrid national cinema. However, such a concept fails to include films that represent Northern Ireland, despite the fact that the problem of multiple identities is as relevant in the cinema of this part of the United Kingdom as it is elsewhere. This article focuses on questions of individual identity in two films from Colin Bateman – Divorcing Jack (1998) and Wild About Harry (2000) – in which we are presented with individuals possessing multiple, fractured and contradictory identities. In these films, the problem of identity in Northern Ireland is not the representation of a unique and coherent identity that can be successfully contained within a hybrid national framework that is typical of films that are set elsewhere in the United Kingdom; rather, it is a struggle to come to terms with too many identities that is ultimately unresolved.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2010-12-01
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