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6 Days (2017)

6 Days (2017) is a strange film in that it is a high quality film that premiered at the London Film Festival this year, got OK reviews and has a very impressive cast (Jamie Bell, Martin Shaw, Martin Strong et al), yet for all of that is not getting a cinema release in the UK. It has been sold to Netflix yet it deserves a wider theatrical audience in my view.

The film –which is a UK/New Zealand co-production- focuses on the 6 days in 1980 when the Iranian Embassy in London was taken over by an Iranian Arab group taking 26 hostages including a diplomatic police officer (PC Trevor Lock) and famously ended when the SAS raided the property ending the siege. 6 Days centres on a) the political aspects of negotiation with Willie Whitelaw the then Home Secretary (played by the late Tim Piggott-Smith) insisting that Margret Thatcher’s Government would not negotiate with terrorists, b) the attempts by the Met Police negotiator Max Vernon (Martin Strong) to end the siege peacefully and c) the SAS plans and then attack on the Embassy-forefront in this is LCpl Rusty Firmin (Jamie Bell) who leads from the front.

If you know anything about the 1980 siege you will be pleased by this recreation as it pretty much follows the siege as accurately as any film could with very little fictionalised –always an issue when retelling a true event. The film is very strong on the time, period and fashions (BBC reporter Kate Adie in skirt and high heels and quite a bit of male side burns too) but at its strongest when dealing with the planning and action of the SAS. Jamie Bell in particular is outstanding and has come a long way from his role in Billy Elliott. Martin Strong is as either very good as the Met Police negotiator who feels he has failed to end the siege peacefully, and in one of his last roles before his death Tim Piggott-Smith is very reliable as the Home Secretary.

So, 6 Days is a fine movie that it is well worth searching out – especially if you subscribe to Netflix!