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Film: The Enigma of Frank Ryan

April 3, 2013

Reading a review of this film in Scoláire Staire – History Scholar Magazine (http://scolairestaire.com/index.php) I was brought up short by this picture:

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“Wait a minute – I recognise that red brick facade!”

And yes, indeed, it’s the Whitla Hall at Queen’s University Belfast, doubling up as some kind of government building in Nazi Berlin. On checking further, I found some more information on the QUB website, including this quotation:

Speaking about the production Professor Bell said: “For the second time in a year Nazi insignia will fly over Belfast as a Queen’s University film crew stages a reconstruction of wartime Berlin on campus.  Last year the BBC shot ‘Christopher and his Friends’, using the City Hall as a stand in for Berlin.  Now the University’s Whitla Hall takes on this filmic role.

“Belfast is an unusual choice of stand-in for war time Berlin but as the makers of ‘Christopher and his Friends’ have shown, with the right attention to design and period detail, Belfast with its fine mix of 1940s buildings in neo-classical style can create a believable picture of Berlin of the time.”

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