Hidden Agenda

Synopsis: When an American human rights lawyer is assassinated in Belfast, it remains for the man's girlfriend, as well as a tough, no nonsense, police detective to find the truth... which they soon discover to be contained in an audio tape which the man had with him, exposing political manipulations at the highest levels of government. But such underlying agendas require careful considerations to avoid worse things than murder.
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director(s): Ken Loach
Production: HBO Video
  2 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
108 min

- And how did it happen?

- Beat me up.

They made me stand against the wall,

like this with me arms outstretched...

and my legs stretched out behind me.

Kept me like this for ages,

for over 30 hours or somethin' like that.

And if I tried to relax

or lower me arms, they hit me.

And then they gave me

the crab treatment.

Were you arrested on Section 12?

- Yeah.

- Okay. Good.

Do you have any idea why?

Sort of like most of me mates

were accused of belongin' to the IRA.

Which he wasn't.

That's why they let him go.

Could you demonstrate

this crab treatment to us?


One of them grabbed me...

you know, with me arms back here...

while his mate punched me

in the stomach.

He just punched me and punched me.

And the other one

kept askin' me questions...

askin' more questions,

and they punched me again.


- Are you all right?

- Yeah.

Jim, why don't you tell them

what happened to you?

I was arrested the week before Michael

and taken to Castlereagh.

And then they threw me

into a cell for about four hours.

They took me out...

brought me up to what

they call an interview room.

And two cops were sittin' there with me.

One of the cops asked me my name.

I never told him my name...

'cause if they didn't know my name,

they wouldn't have arrested me.

At once, as soon as I told him,

all four cops came rushin' in the room...

took me off the chair,

lifted me by the arms and legs...

and held me over a table.

And one of them put a towel

round my face.

He was holding it

at the back of my neck here...

and another one poured water

over my nose and mouth.

It was goin' up my nose

and into my throat...

I was gettin' the drowning feeling.


Get the bastard!

I don't believe it.

- Tribal rites.

- It's frightening.

Can I take you onto the question

of the treatment of prisoners...

the question of interrogation techniques

referred to in the press release.

It suggests that these allegations

of ill-treatment have reduced since 1978.

Can I ask you to comment?

Do you have a view...

as to whether these forms of

ill-treatment that you found are fair?

What evidence do you have for them?

Not to be too dramatic,

but these are all...

statements of alleged maltreatment that

we have collected over our time here.

And that one?

"Punching, slapping,

kicking the plaintiff.

"Causing, requiring,

permitting the plaintiff to lie

on the floor of an interview room.

"Causing, requiring,

permitting the plaintiff...

"to remove his coat and shoes

in the interview room.

"Punching the plaintiff

in the abdominal area.

"Banging the plaintiff's head off

the wall of the interview room.

"Standing on the plaintiff's

shoulders, stomach, ankles and chest.

"Squeezing the plaintiff's neck.

Squeezing the plaintiff's testicles.

"Causing, requiring,

permitting the plaintiff...

- "...to be spreadled..."

- Spread-eagled.

"Between three members

of the Royal Ulster Constabulary...

"while one kicked him with his heel

in the area of the abdomen and raped..."

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

These are unconfirmed

allegations, right?

Allegations for which

there is no outside evidence.

These are allegations

from a group of people.

A great deal of this evidence

is corroborated.

Is it a war situation or not?

If it's a war situation,

to solve that war situation...

you have to negotiate, and so to accept

that there are two sides...

putting around a table to negotiate...

and that, the British

government doesn't accept.

Does your report deal with

the shoot-to-kill policy...

operatin' here in the six counties?

Allegations of a shoot-to-kill policy

carried out by the RUC...

the UDR, and the British Army

does form part of our report, yes.

- Do you have any figures?

- Yes, in...

the period of 1969 to 1980...

the evidence shows

that at least 130 people...

were killed by the security forces,

and half of those deaths...

were of civilians

that had no connection...

with paramilitary activities at all.

Given the fact that there is a state of

armed insurrection in Northern Ireland...

do you not concede

the government has every right...

to take whatever measures

it deems necessary to...

stem this insurrection?

Britain is recognized the world over

as a democratic state.

We will present our report

based on the documented evidence.

And hopefully,

the British government will respond.

I'm sure they will.

Thank you. That's all we have time for.

We're flying out tomorrow. Thank you.


- I'm Teresa Doyle. Republican News.

- Excuse me?

Republican News.

You know the shoot-to-kill?

It happens all the time.

I could show you a photograph.

- Of what?

- Of an execution.

You have that with you?

It's not the sort of thing you carry around

the streets of Belfast in your handbag.

But I could get it to you.

I'm sorry.

Our investigation's concluded.

- So you're not interested?

- No, we're not here to be used.

Maybe that's all you're here for.


- Is that the tape from yesterday?

- Yeah.

I'm glad we're leaving tomorrow.

Belfast reminds me of Chile.

There's no comparison.

How can you say that?

That's the way it feels:

Killings, torture, intrigue.

A reality check:
What happened

in Chile can't happen here.

- Let's eat.

- Yeah.

- You got any money?

- Yes, I do.


So good night. See you tomorrow.

Tough day.

Good night.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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