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A week ago I was surprised by gift of two tickets to a film in the ADiff (Dublin International Film Festival) this year. It was late in the game and most films I would have liked to see were either booked out or showing at the wrong time- clashing with work and other commitments.

On a whim I just asked what viewing still had availability, and to my surprise the surprise film still had some tickets. (For more than ten years the film festival has hosted a surprise film screening – no one knows what it will be until the reel is rolling and the film credits appear). Liking the idea of a surprise I booked the tickets and invited a friend.

So, yesterday afternoon I joined the long queue outside the Savoy on O’Connell Street and waited to find a seat in Cinema 1. My friend and I made found good seats in the back and made ourselves comfortable. The excitement in the room was palpable, lots of guessing could be heard and since some years have had walk outs – I think I saw a few planning their exit route – just in case.

As the film began we were all surprised with Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, the latest film directed by duo Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. The film is loosely based on journalist Kim Baker’s book The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan and tells the story of how an inexperienced white female journalist comes to terms with the madness that is war reporting.

And while the story has many holes (we never really see much journalism going on and partying seems to be the main activity) the film was enjoyable. I’m not a big Tina Fey fan but she did well, even if the erst of the cast steal the show. Billy Bob Thornton as General Hollanek is wonderful and Martin Freeman as freelance photographer Iain MacKelpie gives a good Scottish accent.

Overall my surprise filled Sunday was the perfect way to end a stressed filled week.

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