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PREVIOUSLY PLAYED

BOBBY SANDS: 66 DAYS

12:30   2:45   7:45   10:00

Final Day - Tuesday, December 13

DIRECTED BY BRENDAN J. BYRNE

In 1981, Bobby Sands is a 27-year-old member of the IRA, doing a 14-year sentence for weapons possession in Northern Ireland’s Maze Prison, when he leads fellow prisoners on a hunger strike demanding that they be treated as political prisoners. Byrne’s rigorous, thoughtful documentary takes us through Sands’s 66-day ordeal, with expository sequences that give a crucial understanding of his childhood during the Northern Ireland “Troubles.” (“I became angry. My whole little world crumbled around me. Belfast was in flames”). Northern Ireland’s long history of opposition to British rule, the words of its poets and religious zealots, all give rise to the creation of a political martyr who gains iconic stature through his act. Steve McQueen’s 2008 film, HUNGER, starring Michael Fassbender, powerfully renders Bobby Sands’s story. It is a considerable achievement that Byrne’s documentary is an even more searing portrait of a man and a movement.

With support from the Richard Brick, Geri Ashur & Sara Bershtel Fund for Social Justice Documentaries

IRELAND • 2016 • 105 MINS. • CONTENT MEDIA

Reviews

“Stirring.” 
- Stephen Holden, The New York Times

“Gripping...essential viewing for any Irish history buffs who found IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER a tad corny.” 
- Sam Weisberg, Village Voice

“Terrific. Incredibly important and profoundly inspiring. A powerful statement about the effectiveness of non-violent resistance.” 
- Oktay Ege Kozak, The Playlist

“(A) precisely constructed and dramatic documentary about the struggle’s most famous casualty.” 
- Chris Barsanti, Film Journal


“A chastening film about the man, the time, the Troubles. The film quotes, powerfully, an earlier Irish hunger striker who claimed that those who suffer the most, not those who inflict the most suffering, gain the final victory.”

– Nigel Andrews, The Financial Times (UK)

“(The film) places the Maze hunger strike, and Sands himself, in the larger social and political context of the Troubles. Director Brendan Byrne lays out his case methodically and precisely, breaking up the standard talking heads and archival footage with passages from the diary Sands secretly kept for the first 17 days of the hunger strike. It’s a solid work.  When Sands’s protest reaches its awful, inevitable end, you’ll feel it.” 
– Norman Wilner, Now Toronto Magazine

“Delivers a meticulously researched and well balanced look at what Sands meant to the IRA and outsiders. Sands’s words ring truer than all of the talking heads.”
– Andrew Parker, Toronto Film Scene

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