‘Belfast’ review: Kenneth Branagh revisits his turbulent childhood, through the eyes of a 9-year-old

Published by
The Seattle Times

Kenneth Branagh’s autobiographical drama “Belfast” movingly finds a very difficult balance: It’s a film both thoroughly sentimental and grittily real. Taking place mostly in the summer of 1969, it’s the story of 9-year-old Buddy (Jude Hill), who lives with his Protestant parents and brother in a working-class Belfast neighborhood that’s suddenly torn apart by violent demonstrations stemming from religious differences. The streets quickly become a war zone, and Branagh doesn’t shield our gaze from the horrors. But he lets us see them as young Buddy — and as he himself, a Belfast native born in …

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