The author of Fifty Dead Men Walking is holding his fire. Martin McGartland, the Royal Ulster Constabulary mole who infiltrated the IRA and nearly paid for it with his life, has decided to see the film for a second time. The film, which screens as a gala on Sept. 10, has been the centre of controversy since McGartland denounced the work as a distortion of his life story and threatened to take legal action against its producers as well as TIFF.

McGartland was hours from retaining a Toronto law firm to represent him when he decided on the wait-and-see approach. McGartland told Screen International: 'I would like to reserve judgment after I have viewed it, but until then I can confirm that I still maintain that I have and open and shut case against the filmmakers and others for infringement, but also possibly much more.' His objections were based on a screening in May of this year.

For its part, TIFF has taken steps to placate the slighted author. The book was mistakenly identified as a novel in the programme book. The mistake was corrected online. But ultimately TIFF declined McGartland's request not to screen the film. In a letter to McGartland dated September 2, TIFFG CFO Martin Abel advised McGartland to pursue his legal options, saying that TIFF would comply with an Ontario court order. However, in the absence of such an order, Abel concluded, TIFF had not alternative but to proceed with the screening.