Canadian Sport Film Festival 2017: Our Review Of ‘Hillsborough’

Canadian Sport Film Festival 2017: Our Review Of ‘Hillsborough’

96 people died on April 15, 1989 and 400+ were injured when thousands of supporters watched a live FA Cup Semi-final football match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. Police ineptitude and lack of planning caused obscene overcrowding in enclosed standing room only pens – overcrowding that became so intense that victims were crushed and suffocated to death by those standing beside them.  ‘Hillsborough’ lays bare the events that unfolded that day and the 27 year fight for justice that ensued after the police purposefully set forth a smear campaign vilifying the victims and Liverpool fans, fabricating blame where there was none.

I lay awake last night thinking of this film.  Disturbing archival images haunted my thoughts, and heartbreaking testimonials echoed long after I had heard them. This film stays with you and as a warning, is difficult to watch even though it’s truly remarkable.

Director Daniel Gordon’s film is masterful. Archival footage, firsthand accounts of the day from the victims’ family, never before heard police testimony, and evidence collected over the course of 27 years vividly recounts the horrific events that lead to the deaths of so many innocent and unsuspecting fans.

The fight for justice over the proceeding 27 years is clearly illustrated and the film provides a voice for those deceived and vilified by a cowardly and deplorable police chief and his cronies.

This film moves you in ways that are not always comfortable.  The only thing missing is an extended look at the joy and relief the inquest judgment of 2016 had on those involved in the lengthy fight which could have provided some needed comfort to the films audience.

It’s a must watch not just for fans of football, but for fans of the indomitable human spirit.

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Sarah has had a love affair the silver screen her entire life. Movies have always found a way to impact her life and she has always connected with the magic it has to offer. With a BA in Honours English Language and Literature, Sarah enjoys translating that magic, and sometimes the lack thereof, to the written word. Sarah is a stay at home mom with newborn twin boys and looks forward to the days where she can share her love of film with them. She counts The Last of the Mohicans, The Lord of the Rings -The Two Towers, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Army of Darkness, Goodfellas, Jaws and It’s a Wonderful Life as some of her favourites.