An Unreliable Witness

North American Premiere

USA | 77 MINUTES | English |


Journalist David Tereshchuk was an eyewitness to Bloody Sunday, the 1972 massacre in Derry, Northern Ireland that left 14 people dead. In 1998, he returned to that troubled region to testify before a newly formed commission looking into the incident and the government cover-up that followed. The filmmakers vividly recreate the events of Bloody Sunday through archival footage and testimony from survivors and government officials. But Tereshchuk himself proves the most compelling witness of all. Because of his status as a journalist, Tereshchuk is considered an impartial source of information about the events. But as he tries to understand what occurred, he realizes that memory is a tricky thing -- what can we trust of what we remember? One of his clearest memories of Bloody Sunday is of a soldier in a red beret, crouched on one knee, leveling his self-loading rifle towards him. Yet in all photographs of the scene, the soldier is not wearing a red beret, but a helmet. The discrepancy prompts Tereshchuk to dig deep within himself to figure out where the truth really lies. A lesser man might dismiss his doubts to help heal the wounds of the community, but this "unreliable witness" comes to understand that healing can only occur if we search for absolute truth, and find out what really happened on that terrible day.


Directed by Michael McHugh

Since 1990, Michael McHugh has been a cinematographer, editor, producer, and director. McHugh has worked for the CBS network -- most notably on 60 Minutes II and 48 Hours -- and has been nominated for eight Emmy awards for his news and documentary television work. He has also edited programs for A&E, Bravo, Discovery, and MSNBC. McHugh has previously worked on The AIDS Affect (1993), which chronicled people living with AIDS in New Jersey and AIDS organizations, and Tula Revisted (1996), which followed a group of Albany entrepreneurs to Tula, Russia, to establish a city-sisterhood cooperative. In 2000, he formed a production company, GRACE Pictures, which produced his film, An Unreliable Witness. McHugh continues to work for CBS News and 48 Hours, and lives in New Jersey with his family.