Rebellion — an Irish mini-series set during the Easter Rebellion of 1916 tells the stories from the perspective of several young women coping with the changes in their lives.
Unfortunately, the characters in the drama seem to be living their lives in 2016, not 1916, and the choices they make correspond with the free and open women of today rather than the restricted lives females of the last century lived.
Aside from that, it’s an interesting study of an event that hasn’t been dramatized too often, and particularly from the Irish side.
But it’s much like a soap opera and not so much a war story, although there is plenty of violence and poverty. An eleven-year-old child is murdered, a woman gets pregnant by her married lover, and two other lovers are jailed but separated as a result of their participation in the rebellion.
Still, we don’t get much information about the religious and political differences that led to the rebellion. It’s as if the director and the producers didn’t want to offend anyone, even though the rebellion is 100 years in the past.
Yes, there is a priest, but we would barely know any of the rebels are Catholic, except for a chanted Hail Mary where we don’t see anyone praying. And for a change, the priest isn’t evil, but he is weak, and unwilling to stand up to the Archbishop, who sides firmly with England.
None of the actors stand out as particularly talented, but there is a cute scene at the beginning of the series where three of the main female characters perform a rendition of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Three Little Maids From School.” They are supposed to begin as innocents, and become tainted by the horror and suffering yet to come.
It’s a study in women’s agency, yes, to use a new-fangled term. But we don’t understand why the women are making the sacrifices they do, or even why they love their men.
The series is available on Netflix.