In No Stone Unturned, award winning American documentarian Alex Gibney (We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, Freakonomics) reopens the mysterious circumstances revolving around the unsolved case of the 1994 Loughinisland massacre. On June 18, a group men who had gathered in a small Catholic pub in rural northern Ireland to watch a World Cup football match, were murdered in cold blood by a suspected protestant loyalist group. Despite years of investigations and hours of campaigning by the victims’ relatives and their lawyers, no arrests or convictions were ever made.

Premiering at the New York Film Festival and recently screened as part of the BFI London Film Festival, Gibney’s film allows a story which has remained until now shrouded in mystery in intrigue, to finally be told by the people who were present in the immediate aftermath of the fateful event. Using footage from the era and interviews with national and local authority figures, the film manages to fully capture the state of shock and the harrowing spectacle of 6 innocent men butchered for the sole crime of being Catholic.

Gibney, who for months interviewed all the parties involved, handles the case in pretty much the same way we have come to expect from him. Using an at times unnecessarily dramatic narrative, the director manages to get the best out of his interviewees by probing them on camera and pushing them further, even when they are reluctant to share some of the information they feel might land them in serious trouble with the authorities or even the IRA.

Uncovering a series of cover-ups and even managing to find those who were initially suspected of the crime, Gibney and his team must be credited for allowing the families to have their say on what must have been a harrowing experience. With some impressive investigative work, the filmmaker speaks to those who simply would not let the case die or be forgotten about, including the lawyer who represented the families from day one, and whose frustration at the lack of action grew year after year.

Gibney is thorough in his questioning, but one cannot help but feel that his methods might have very little to do with wanting to do good by his subjects, but rather a lot more to do with maintaining an overly dramatic story arc, as often is the case with some Hollywood documentarians. Having said that, the filmmaker and his subjects never shy away from making some seriously bold claims about the loyalist groups, the IRA, and even the conservative government of the time. Although not without fault, No Stone Unturned is nevertheless a gripping and thoroughly well told story, which is likely to bring closure to all those who waited for their story to be told for the last twenty years.

No Stone Unturned
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Linda Marric
Linda Marric is a senior film critic and the newly appointed Reviews Editor for HeyUGuys. She has written extensively about film and TV over the last decade. After graduating with a degree in Film Studies from King's College London, she has worked in post-production on a number of film projects and other film related roles. She has a huge passion for intelligent Scifi movies and is never put off by the prospect of a romantic comedy. Favourite movie: Brazil.
no-stone-unturned-reviewA gripping and thoroughly well told story, which is likely to bring closure to all those who waited for their story to be told for the last twenty years.