'71 refers to the year 1971 - a bad year for the Troubles in Northern Ireland called the "Internment." The two sides had drawn lines to define Catholic and Unionist neighborhoods. To an outsider these lines were all but invisible. Here, a British soldier gets caught in the city streets of Belfast after dark. He can't tell who to trust. He is young and innocent yet a soldier is feared by both sides. (And there are plants on both sides.) His would be killers are even younger and less experienced than himself. The conflict goes deeper for if the soldier is protecting crown and country - basically the kids back home - how can he kill the kids trying to kill him. This fictional story captures the multi-faceted conflict better than many non-fiction stories. Like, Cal, it succeeds in making a sympathetic British character where most films about the Troubles are told only from the Republican point of view. See also: Odd Man Out, where an IRA gunman searches for help on the streets of Belfast.