Jamie Dornan takes on a wildly different role from that of 50 Shades of Grey’s Christian Grey in the trailer for The Siege of Jadotville, a new film based on the true story of 150 Irish United Nations soldiers who are sent to the Congo to keep the peace in 1961. These soldiers were outnumbered twenty-fold; running out of ammo and supplies, yet they prevailed without any casualties.
In Jadotville, Dornan plays the role of the tactically astute Commandant Pat Quinlan, the real-life soldier who let the Irish troop of peacekeepers. To prepare for the part and to ensure realism, director Richie Smyth required that Dornan and the rest of the cast would undergo extensive military training at a boot camp in South Africa.
Netflix will be releasing The Siege of Jadotville on October 7; the film will also be released in Irish cinemas a few weeks earlier, on September 19. Watch the first trailer below. In addition to Dornan, the film stars Mark Strong, Jason O’Mara, and Guillaume Canet.
Interviewed at the Galway Film Fleadh, Smyth spoke about the challenges of making Jadotville an exciting cinematic experience for the audience.
“How do you take all the historic stuff and make a piece of cinema out of it? Because it’s not a documentary,” Smyth posited. “To be honest, it starts quite naturally with just a lot of research. I spoke to a lot of the soldiers and a lot of historians, read up a lot about it. Everybody has a slightly different story, but you start to find a path through it, and then it’s really about how you sculpt that into three acts.”
“The cinema of it, to engage that audience and have that invested, you take certain aspects of it…. the original battle was more like skirmishes all over the place, and nobody knew what was going on, but to have the audience understand a battle like that, we brought it all to one place to give it that big dramatic finale. That’s the cinema aspect of it, I suppose. I’d like to think that we kept very close, historically, to the truth. That was the mission from the beginning,” Smyth explained.
Here’s the official synopsis:
The story is based on the 1961 siege of 150 UN Irish troops led by Quinlan in the Congo after pro-western leader Moise Tshombe took control of the Katanga region and killed the Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba. In a show of extraordinary bravery, Quinlan and his batallion held out against a force of 3,000 local troops led by French and Belgian Mercenaries working for the mining companies.