(No butter to make it tasty either.)
In one scene behind a commanding officer from Britain are the bold words “BRITISH EMPIRE” on a map hanging on the wall. As I write this blog on July 4th, sitting in the United States of America who fought for their freedom from British rule, I think of other countries who have done the same throughout history. We have all seen our share of movies that tell the stories of Scotland, the Sudan, India, and wherever else the sun never set on the empire where people sought to be free from the monarchy. And here I am in the twenty-first century, wishing I could live across the pond.
Streaming on Netflix is Rebellion, which is television miniseries telling the familiar fight for freedom involving the Irish. The Irish broadcaster RTE produced the series. The premise of the story is based on the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin that occurred while the world was fighting World War I. The story is fact, of course, and focused on a group of individuals who want freedom from tyranny. Oddly enough, at the same time, the rest of the world, including British and Irish soldiers are fighting to maintain their independence from German rule. One poignant voice among all the killing in the movie is a line (and I’m probably paraphrasing here), is that “the world is one huge slaughterhouse.” After watching this series, I agree. Will humanity ever stop killing each other? Don’t get me started on that ranting.
In short, you are drawn into the lives of a group of Irish individuals. The majority of the characters want one thing – Irish independence. The Irish Nationalist Party and the faithful who didn’t wish to wait for the war to end to push for freedom, begin their war and plan the infamous Easter Rising in April of 1916. Of course, outnumbered by the British Army, they were no match for them. Eventually, they surrender, and Britain quickly makes a point by placing the leaders in front of firing squads to squelch the uprising and make examples of traitors. What happens to each of the characters – whether it be death or life in prison – contains its own sadness. The irony of it all, at least to me, is that the rebellious are shooting at their own countrymen in British uniforms who had joined to fight the Germans.
Like any other historical series, I usually run to the Internet afterward and check the facts. Apparently, the series received heavy criticism even in Ireland for misrepresentations of historical incidences. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a series that involves a bit of history, you might enjoy. As far as acting, it’s mediocre, as well as the characters and background stories.
The oddity for me personally is that my ancestors apparently immigrated from Ireland in the mid-1700’s to England. Their name was originally Mullholland, and a few years after their arrival they interestingly changed their name to Holland. As I think about even those time periods, it’s obvious to me they were attempting to blend in as English. As the 1800’s and 1900’s generations came and went, they were English by all accounts.
Well, the firecrackers are cracking outside my window to remind me that we won our war of Independence. How odd, I wish I could live in England. All of my romance novels are set in England, too. To increase that oddity, my sales in the U.K. are extremely high compared to the U.S. You can be assured that I’m not fighting to be free of that empire of revenue.