10 April 2009

IRA flashback

Looking at the movie reviews this morning I flashed back to reading the newspaper while waiting in the car at my brother's elementary school. The story holding my attention was about Bobby Sands' hunger strike. Sands was in the IRA and in prison for possession of firearms.

"Hunger" is out today in Minneapolis/St. Paul. (I can't not be coincidence that it opens on Good Friday in honor of the Good Friday Agreement.) It's the story of the last six weeks of Sands' hunger strike in 1981. The movie looks compelling and horrifying. One that will leave my head full of questions that don't have immediate answers. (My favorite type of movie.)

If you're interested in the Troubles, Michael Collins and In the Name of the Father are both excellent, based-on-a-true-story glimpses into the madness and desperation in Northern Ireland. They help you understand a bit of the motivation for violence and will push you to empathize, painfully, with those brutalized on both sides. 

On a related note, take a look Chuck and Peg Hoffman's brilliant work with art and reconciliation in places like Northern Ireland. I heard them speak a couple of years ago. Their stories gave me goosebumps.

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