Tuesday 13 November 2018

The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid review: 'One of the most unique pieces of cinema this year'

4 stars

Thomas Reid's story has been retold in a new feature documentary by Feargal Ward called 'The Lonely Battle Of Thomas Reid'
Thomas Reid's story has been retold in a new feature documentary by Feargal Ward called 'The Lonely Battle Of Thomas Reid'

Chris Wasser

Time for something a little different. With The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid, Irish director Feargal Ward has crafted one of the most unique and, perhaps, indefinable pieces of cinema this year. You might have heard of this story.

Ward’s film charts the epic battle between Thomas Reid, a cattle farmer in Leixlip, and the callous planning decisions of the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), who sought to purchase Reid’s land, regardless of whether or not he was interested in selling. Why?

Because the land — his home that had been in his family for more than 100 years — was seen as prime territory for the folks at Intel to move in and expand their business. So, the lads at the IDA set about effectively bullying Reid out of his home. But Reid — strong, defiant, eccentric — wasn’t having any of it, and the case went to the High Court.

Ward and his crew spend time with Reid, who lives alone, and is a bit of a serial hoarder (wait until you see his house).

Call it an intimate profile. Call it a docudrama (there are some bizarre court reconstructions). Whatever you call it, The Lonely Battle... can be tricky to get into. But it is, occasionally, quite wonderful.

Herald

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