Film Review Archive
August 28 2005 vol4 #20
Big Plane Small Axe,
the Mis-trials of Mary Kelly
(51 mins.)
Director: Margaretta D'Arcy
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Big Plane Small Axe,
the Mis-trials of Mary Kelly




http://www.freewebs.com/mary_kelly



In January 2003 Shannon airport was a refuelling stop-over for the looming Iraq war. Mary Kelly, newly returned from hair-raising experiences as a volunteer nurse in Palestine, threw herself into the anti-war movement, but soon came to believe that it was not enough. She disabled a US warplane with an axe, was charged with criminal damage, and faced ten years in gaol. The film follows her ordeal through three successive trials, in Kilrush, in Co Clare (hung jury), Ennis, in Co Clare (verdict of guilty), and finally her sentencing at Limerick. This is the first time in Ireland for the legality of the war to be challenged in court on a basis of international law.

There is a line-up of distinguished anti-war witnesses - Ramsey Clark, former US Attorney-General, Denis Halliday, who had resigned as Asst. Gen. Secretary of the UN over sanctions on Iraq, Scott Ritter, UN Weapons Inspector, Curtis F. Doebbler, human rights lawyer, Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower who exposed the machinations behind the Vietnam war, Dr S-H. Gunther, investigator of the lethal effects of depleted uranium on Iraqi mothers and children, Ed Horgan, retired Irish army officer.

Mary is sentenced to two years' gaol, suspended. The film recaptures the rhythm of the trials through the excitement, fear, glee and heartbreak expressed by Mary's family and supporters. "Every single day, every hour of every day, they have banned the unspeakable subject of the war in Iraq. She's put it back in court and she's defied them to do it. It's now a matter of court record !"

"Three different trials, they haven't put her away, she hasn't apologized for busting their plane!"

"As free as a bird!"






Big Plane Small Axe is now available from Margaretta D'Arcy, 10 St Bridget's Place Lower, Galway, Ireland. It costs 15 in Ireland/16 in continental Europe, 11 in Britain, $20 in the USA, and $24 in Canada (including postage and packaging).








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