The first trailer for "In the Land of Saints and Sinners" has arrived ahead of the Irish thriller's debut at the 80th Venice International Film Festival today, September 6.
Here’s the synopsis: “Ireland, 1970s. Eager to leave his dark past behind, Finbar Murphy (Neeson) leads a quiet life in the remote coastal town of Glencolmcille, far from the political violence that grips the rest of the country.
“When a menacing crew of terrorists arrive, led by a ruthless woman named Doirean (Condon), Finbar soon discovers that one of them has been abusing a local young girl.
"Drawn into an increasingly vicious game of cat and mouse, Finbar must choose between exposing his secret identity or defending his friends and neighbours."
Written by Mark McNally, the script for "In the Land of Saints and Sinners" came through Northern Ireland Screen’s New Writer Focus scheme – a script development scheme open to new Northern Ireland writers.
The new Irish film sees Neeson reuniting with director Robert Lorenz after 2021's "The Marksman."
Lorenz offered this statement ahead of the Irish film’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival: “Growing up in the midwestern United States, I passionately embraced films as a means to escape the confines of my small world.
Today, as a filmmaker, there is nothing more appealing than immersing myself in a new subject, to dive beneath the surface and explore an unfamiliar human experience, and to find an exciting way to share it with others through film.
"Which is why I was so thrilled to find 'In the Land of Saints and Sinners.' Here was an original story, set in a special time and place, with a wild cast of characters.
"The film tells the story of an Irishman who must choose between keeping his shameful past a secret or exposing it all to protect his friends and neighbours from the outlaws who’ve descended upon their quiet coastal village.
"I set out to make a film with authenticity and realism. From the texture of the period costumes to the epic cliffside landscapes as a backdrop, to the all-Irish cast with their peculiar accents, the goal was to transport the audience into this unique world and treat them to a distinctive, compelling adventure.”
Peter Goldwyn, President of Samuel Goldwyn Films, which acquired US rights to the Irish thriller back in May, told Variety: “With multiple Oscar nominees in front of and behind the camera, we’re confident that ‘In the Land of Saints and Sinners’ will be another thought-provoking entry in Liam Neeson’s storied filmography and delight both critics and audiences alike."
Netflix has acquired the Irish and UK rights to "In the Land of Saints and Sinners," while Madman Films acquired rights in Australia and New Zealand.