NEL NOME DI GERRY CONLON
Last confession of a contemporary martyr
Belfast-born Gerry Conlon was just 20 years of age in 1974 when he and three of his compatriots were wrongly convicted of one of the most heinous IRA bombings ever committed in mainland Britain. In actual fact, the only crime the four young Irish people were guilty of was that they had left their native Ireland to seek employment in England at the peak of the Anglo-Irish conflict. The “Guildford Four”, as they came to be known, proved to be the perfect scapegoats. Subjected to coercion, abuse and psychological duress, they were browbeaten into signing false confessions and ultimately convicted to life imprisonment. The Guildford Four were not the only victims of the wave of anti-Irish hysteria of the time. Gerry’s father, Giuseppe Conlon, was one of them. Giuseppe went to London to help his son, only to find himself accused of transporting explosives and sentenced to 12 years in gaol. Critically ill and deprived of medicine, he died in prison in 1980.
It was not until fifteen years later, in 1989, that the innocence of Gerry Conlon and the other Guildford Four was finally proven and the British state admitted that its forces of law and order had falsified the evidence against them.
After a long and harrowing process of recuperation, Gerry finally recovered his will to fight back again. He felt that his terrible experience was a warning to others and an admonishment against injustice and human rights violations, not only in Ireland, but all over the world.
The documentary opens with a lengthy interview with Gerry Conlon in his Belfast home just a few months prior to his death. The film goes on to narrate his story, reconstructed for the first time on the basis of Conlon’s own words and drawing on media reports and images.
Who we are
The idea of the documentary (which is self-produced and self-financed) started when Lorenzo Moscia – an Italian press photographer/reporter and documentalist- had the privilege of interviewing Gerry Conlon over a period of days in 2013. He then selected and compiled the images and music for this documentary.
Moscia has lived for years in Chile where he worked for major national and international newspapers and news magazines (El Sabado del Mercurio, El Semanal de la Tercera, New York Times, Der Spiegel, Corriere della Sera, Repubblica). He returned to his native Rome in 2012 to work as a correspondent for the leading press photograph agencies Reduxpictures (USA), Archivolatino (Argentina) and the Chilean magazine Caras.
In Belfast Moscia met the Italian author and journalist Riccardo Michelucci, an expert on the Irish question who has published a raft of articles and interviews on the Anglo-Irish conflict, and the “Black Book” of British Colonialism in Ireland. They share the same ideals and a firm friendship has developed between them, culminating in their collaboration on this project.
Why are we asking for your help?
Although we have made significant progress with this project, much remains to be done: audio and video post-production, subtitling, copyright monitoring, as well as the actual production and promotion of the DVD.
We would like to ask you to help us out with a financial contribution, no matter how small. By doing so, you will help give a voice to a contemporary martyr who unwittingly became a hero.