The year is 1961 and the African continent is ravaged by power struggles between European Colonial Powers and Independence movements. The UN is struggling to hold the factions apart in the central African country of The Congo. Irish peacekeepers are sent to Jadotville in the Katanga province to protect the mining town. The force is lightly armed and has no combat experience, the unit is led by Commander Patrick (Pat) Quinlan played by Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades Of Grey), the soldiers are unaware of the power struggles happening thousands of miles away which will soon force them into a desperate defense of the town against overwhelming odds.
The movie starts with the political chaos unfolding in the Congo, back in Ireland the detachment of Irish soldiers is preparing for their first foreign posting. The peacekeepers arrive in Jadotville just as the political situation takes a turn for the worse. The UN is seen by some Congolese as meddling in the countries affairs. This sets in motion a series of events which leads to the Jadotville detachment of 150 peacekeepers coming under attack from a force of 3000 Congolese militia supported by mercenaries.
In many ways, Siege Of Jadotville feels like the 1964 film Zulu, you have a lightly defended position holding out against all the odds. As war movies go that's no bad thing, Zulu is a damn fine film. The Siege Of Jadotville is also very good. The action scenes are dramatic without being over the top, the acting from Jamie Dornan and the rest of the cast is up to the script. Although I have to say that my Action Man figure delivered more convincing lines than Guillaume Canet who plays the French mercenary leading the attack against the Irish soldiers.
By all accounts, the film is historically accurate. Including the dramatic scenes where the UN soldiers are attacked from above by a fighter jet. What happened over the five-day siege is a little-known battle in history, but the story of the Irish Peacekeepers heroism has been perfectly captured in this movie from director Richie Smyth.