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Jamie Bell’s Hollywood movie of Iranian Embassy siege is a ‘laughable insult’ to the memories of the dead



An SAS hero of the Iranian Embassy siege has slammed a new film about the daring mission calling it an ‘insult’ to the memory of those soldiers who took part.

Robin Horsfall said it was totally wrong for the makers of ‘6 Days’, out now in America and released in Britain later this year, to claim the film was an accurate re-telling of the events in 1980. The former SAS sniper, who helped storm the embassy and shot dead one of the terrorists during one of the most watched and admired military operations in British history, lambasted every aspect of the film.

Legendary SAS hero - John McAleese 5

Siege of Iranian embassy in London, 1980

I was just so angry watching the film because it was all wrong,’ Horsfall, 60, told Mail Online. ‘It was so bad I had to walk away at one point. From the supposed training missions to the actual rescue, everything in the film is wrong. Those watching it would think there were just eight people taking part. But there were five teams of eight men who stormed the embassy but they are just left out of the film. It is laughable and an insult to the memory of all those who took part.

The film ‘6 Days’ stars Jamie Bell as the leader of the SAS soldiers who have to rescue 26 hostages from the Iranian Embassy in London. Bell, best known for his role in ‘Billy Elliot,’ plays the character of Lance Corporal Rusty Firmin who was among of the members of the elite unit that ended the six-day long siege in dramatic style.

Sim Harris making his escape across the first-floor balcony, as ordered by the masked SAS operator (far right)

The counter terrorism operation was watched by millions of people on TV over the May Day Bank Holiday in 1980.
The film is based on Firmin’s book about the rescue and he was also an advisor on film which is a co-production between GFC Films and the New Zealand Film Commission.

Horsfall was particularly angry that the Jamie Bell character is seen as being the leader of the men from the ultra secretive regiment based in Hereford.  ‘Those watching the film would come away with the impression that he was in charge of the whole mission,’ he said.

‘Appalling’: Former SAS man Robin Horsfall, who took part in the Iranian Embassy siege, said it was totally wrong for the makers of ‘ 6 Days ‘ to claim the film was an accurate re-telling of the events in 1980. Pictured: Image from the controversial movie (Photo: YouTube)

That is just wrong and is a disservice to the more senior people who were there. It also gives the wrong impression to a whole new generation of people who watch the film and take it as being what went on. What angered me most was the portrayal of the other SAS men. They all come across as grunting simple-minded men who can’t string a sentence together. When they do speak they all seem to have Scottish accents. That is not what they were like. Those taking part were all excellent, highly trained soldiers.

In real life, the siege began when a group of six gunmen stormed the Iranian embassy in South Kensington, London, on April 30th, 1980. The operation was codenamed as Operation Nimrod. More details can be found here.


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Crimea – the Russian action blockbuster the world will never see



“This is the kind of decision that is only taken once a century,” says a voice on the trailer for Crimea, a high-budget Russian film that dramatizes the 2014 Russian takeover of the peninsula. The film, which will premiere across Russia next month, features Russian soldiers, tanks, planes and a love story the director describes as a “Romeo and Juliet tale”.

The Russian annexation of the territory from Ukraine, which led to sanctions and a fallout between Moscow and the West, was denounced internationally as illegal. In Russia, however, the annexation has been portrayed as the event which showed that the country is again a global power, after a long period of humiliation following the Soviet collapse.

Crimea features Russian soldiers, tanks and planes and what the director calls a ‘Romeo and Juliet tale’. (Photo: YouTube)

Crimea, the movie, brings that pride to the screen. The film follows a romantic liaison between a young woman from Kiev, who is a supporter of the pro-European Maidan uprising, and a man from Sevastopol who joins the pro-Russian resistance in the aftermath of Maidan’s success in Kiev.

The director, Alexei Pimanov, said the film is dedicated to the Ukrainian and Russian officers who did not shoot at each other and avoided large-scale bloodshed during the Russian takeover. “We wanted to make a film about how we have to love each other and not kill each other,” he said.

Pimanov said after helping his daughter-in-law’s family to evacuate from Luhansk, which has been hit by fighting between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian government forces, he wanted to make a film about how the Russian intervention in Crimea prevented bloodshed there.

In Ukraine and elsewhere, however, the film is likely to be viewed as a glorification of the Russian annexation. Critics of Russia would say that the bloodshed in eastern Ukraine occurred primarily because Russia funnelled weapons and troops across the border.

Indeed, the film is unlikely to be released anywhere outside Russia except for Belarus. The Ukrainian embassy in that country sent a note of protest to the Belarusian foreign ministry earlier this month after trailers for the film were shown in cinemas in the country.

Pimanov insisted that the film is not crude propaganda, and said the female heroine was a sympathetic character and a genuine supporter of the goals of the Maidan protests in Kiev. However, it is clear that the film takes a Russian perspective on the events of March 2014, with some of the funding coming from Russia’s ministry of defense. Indeed, Pimanov knows the defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, personally, and said the initial idea for the film was his.


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Army veteran Chris Roessner tell reveals his story of the Iraq War in ‘Sand Castle’



Sand Castle, a new film about the early days of the war in Iraq, is based on a true story. U.S. troops are ordered to the outskirts of Baqubah to repair a water pumping station damaged by U.S. bombs. Things, of course, don’t go smoothly.

Screenwriter Chris Roessner, an Army and Iraq war veteran, based the story on his own experiences in a Civil Affairs unit of the 4th Infantry division. The film features a stellar young cast that includes:

  • Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men series)
  • Logan Marshall-Green (Quarry, Prometheus)
  • Glen Powell (Everybody Wants Some)
  • Sam Spruell (K19: The Widowmaker, The Hurt Locker)
  • Beau Knapp (The Nice Guys, Southpaw)
  • Neil Brown Jr. (Straight Outta Compton)
  • Henry Cavill (Man of Steel, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.).

In the past, an independent film like this may with a roster of rising stars may or may not have gotten a big theatrical release. With some combination of good taste and mysterious internal metrics, Netflix decided that Sand Castle was a good fit for its audience and we all have a chance to watch it right away. Chris Roessner took the time to speak with us about his military service and how he was able to bring a story based on his time in Iraq to the screen.

Chris Roessner carrer

I signed up July 11, 2001. And if you do the math, you realize I had pretty terrible timing. I signed up initially so I could afford college, but I learned later on that there was a deeper, richer, and more nuanced reason. My father served in the military and he was a West Point guy and a Special Forces guy, but I had never met him. In fact, I wouldn’t meet him until after I got back from the war.

On a surface level, I signed up because I wanted to pay for college. In a deeper way, I think I was trying to earn the right to have a conversation with my father. I had built this man up in my mind my whole life and I was kind of chasing him.

Ultimately. I was attached to the 4th Infantry Division. I spent a lot of time in Fort Bragg going through some special operations training with my CA unit. We deployed to Kuwait early 2003, waiting for the war to start. We crossed the border into Iraq shortly before Easter. I spent over a year there running missions all through the Sunni Triangle, as far north as Kirkuk and as far south as like Baqubah and Baghdad.

Others about Sand Castle

Brazilian director Fernando Coimbra tells us why Sand Castle is different than other war movies. “The main characters of Sand Castle are part of the Civil Affairs of the U.S. Army. They are there also to fight, but their main goal is to deal with the locals and the problems caused by the US forces. I think Sand Castle shows this interaction with the Iraqi people in a very humanist and realistic way that I haven’t seen in other films. We can see the meeting of these two different cultures, with all the differences and similarities. The film also explores the conflict of different motivations to be there that a soldier can experience in this war. The conflict between the soldier’s motivations and the real motivations of that war.”

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