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Based on the true story of the 1981 hunger strike in a British prison, in which IRA prisoner Bobby Sands led a protest against the treatment of IRA prisoners as criminals rather than as prisoners of war. The film focuses on the mothers of two of the strikers, and their struggle to save the lives of their sons. Written by
Alexander Lum <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This was to have originally been a production of American Playhouse, a division of PBS, that would have co-financed the film with The Samuel Goldwyn Company. However the folding of the American Playhouse label combined with Goldwyn's financial troubles led to the film going into turnaround, where it was eventually produced by Castle Rock Entertainment. See more »
Outside the prison you can clearly see an Austin Metro Mk2 which was not released till late 1984. This film is based in 1981. See more »
We want to make the prisons an asset, not a liability. It is in the prisons that we will break the backs of the IRA.
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With an excellent cast, soundtrack and photography this film's one flaw is that it must over-simplify a complex and pivotal episode in Irish history. Despite that it does a fairly good job of capturing the essence of what happened, smartly exposing the viewer to this rarely seen world through the eyes of a middle-class mother whose son, unknown to her, is caught up in the incendiary world of 'the Troubles' of Northern Ireland.
Convicted of taking part in an attack on British forces as part of an IRA Active Service Unit, her son quickly finds himself the cell-mate of soon-to-be-IRA-icon/martyr, Bobby Sands. Although the film does not really explore the personality of this seminal figure (for ex: that he was a poet), it does convey the gravity of the situation he was thrust in as well as the huge impact the hunger strike had on the Northern Irish, indeed people around the world.
But more so, this film is about the suffering that the women in these situations, particularly the mothers (hence the title) must endure. They have no choice in the tragedy that forces itself on their lives, yet they must find ways to overcome and affect what positive change they can.
Some say there is not enough "action" in the film. It is not an "action" movie. There are plenty of Dolph Lundgren vehicles out there if that is all you want. This film is about how episodes of moving history effects everyday people's lives.
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