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 ...
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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 <email@example.com>
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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break, break, break, on thy cold grey stones, oh sea
I saw this movie when it first came out, and just watched it again last night. I still feel that it's an important movie, and also that everyone in the audience except for me <insert smile here> is missing the point. It's not about the right or wrong of the IRA/Sinn Fein or Thatcher's administration, it's about a more-or-less unprecedented friendship that evolves between two sons' mothers, and how they deal with their sons' impending self-imposed deaths, a friendship that quite suddenly excludes class issues, precisely because it is about _mother's sons_.
This is evoked in many subtle ways: Mrs Quigley's daughter leaves her job at the bank because no one trusts her after her brother has been arrested, and ends up tending bar somewhere outside North Ireland -- rather declassee for a young woman who'd been working in a bank; Mrs Higgins lives her life on a bicycle, gets a driving lesson on the sea-strand from Mrs Quigley, and they both end up getting saved from an incoming tide by British/North Irish soldiers. If you check the screenplay, you can see the change in the use of forenames and last names between the two women -- it's unfair to expect Yanks to pick that up. I can't even begin to explain it to my friends, and hell, I live in a border state.
There's a unifying theme in this movie and it's the sea: the sea the mothers are connected to, and that their sons are not permitted to see.
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