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N. Ireland thriller, Catholic drama lead pack at Berlinale

Published on Feb 13, 2014 7:03 AM

BERLIN (AFP) - The Berlin film festival entered the home stretch Wednesday with a Northern Irish escape thriller and a German tragedy on religious fundamentalism cited as favourites for the Golden Bear top prize.

Critics said the 64th Berlinale, Europe's first major cinema festival of the year, has proved uneven but a few contenders have broken out from the pack.

British production '71 tells the story of an English soldier played by rising star Jack O'Connell who is deployed in Belfast at the height of the Troubles.

He becomes separated from his unit during a riot and must find his way back to his barracks through a labyrinth of Catholic paramilitary strongholds.

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