Michael Collins is a 1996 historical biopic about General Michael Collins, the Irish patriot and revolutionary who died in the Irish Civil War. It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
The film opens in 1922, as a devastated Kitty Kiernan (Julia Roberts) mourns the death of her fiance, Michael Collins. As Kitty refuses to leave her bed, Joe O'Reilly attempts to console her with tales of Collins' love for his country.
The film flashes back to 1916. As the Easter Rising ends, Collins (Liam Neeson), Harry Boland (Aidan Quinn), and Éamon de Valera (Alan Rickman) surrender to the British Army. As the Dublin Metropolitan Police's, "G Division," identifies the leaders, Collins informs Boland that next time, "We won't play by their rules, Harry. We'll invent our own."
Although all the other leaders die before a firing squad, de Valera, an American citizen, is imprisoned in Britain. Collins and Boland are sent with the others to Frongoch internment camp in Wales.
After his release in 1918, Collins runs as a member of the illegal First Dáil. While giving a campaign speech, the rally is attacked by the Royal Irish Constabulary. Collins is severely beaten, but is rescued by Boland. While recovering on a friend's farm, they meet Kitty, who strikes up a romance with Boland.
Collins is tipped off by D.M.P. Detective Ned Broy (Stephen Rea) that the British plan to arrest de Valera and his Cabinet. However, de Valera forbids anyone to go into hiding, stating that the ensuing public outcry will force their immediate release. Everyone—except Collins and Boland—are arrested and imprisoned, and there are no protests in response.
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