The construction of Ireland cinematic has been influenced by numerous historical events, perhaps the dominant ideology of cultural nationalism. These are twentieth-century events which occurred on, Northern Ireland on 30 January 1972 and 1981. Members of the brutish parachute regiment shot approximately 27 protestors of civil rights and hunger strike in a British prison occurred. These events were long and painful agony, which provided two of the most turning points in the history of Northern Ireland. In this paper, I have organized my work into two sections. First, is a discussion on the identification on what the bloody Sunday and Some Mother’s Son are all about, and a detailed discussion why these events were the turning points, watershed moments, which changed the course of event in that there is no more turning back for the nation. The second discussion will focus on the evaluation of the films pertaining to these events on how it has managed to transmit the sense of reality, which took place.
The blood Sunday was a day when the British army and paramilitary forces acted on the peaceful civil rights march. They opened fire murdering 13 unarmed people and nine teenagers. This was an enormous blow to the civil rights movement, which ended in countless young men entering the Irish Republican Army (IRA). This is followed by a history of bloodshed and terrorism that did not end until late 90’s.
This event was remarkable in the nation that as a result of this, many things have been brought to a change. The British State, either the cabinet or the highest echelons of the military, planned on the use of lethal force at the time against rioters and demonstrators in Derry.
On the other hand, Some Mother’s Son is a story of the 1981 hunger strike in the British prison. As a result of the events of the bloody Sunday, many young men entered the IRA prison where they were treated as criminals rather than as prisoners of war. As a result of this treatment, the IRA prisoner Bobby Sands led a protest against this. The intention of the prisoners protest was to call attention on themselves as the political prisoners and not common criminals. For some time the British police treated them as any other prisoner after a special treatment. Because of this, they did not know there case leading to a hunger strike which has perhaps been the most famous event in the IRA’s modern history. Two mothers of the strikers tried to save the lives of their sons after realizing the effect of the cause to their lives and families.
Tough the British army has always maintained that the intention of operation during the bloody Sunday was to arrest the rioters, the firing by the army was a response to an attack on them by the Irish Republican Army (IRA), it has remain to be something on the question for years because of the happenings which proceeds it. There was a withdrawal of the British troops from the Derry and an end to internment. Many of relatives and families of those killed made a demonstration throughout Ireland. As Michael Farrell observes, “the whole nationalist community was in revolt…….” On March 24, 1972, the situation in Northern Ireland ended up being unmanageable and the regional parliament and administration which had governed Northern Ireland since 1922 was prorogued.
These events led to the United States support the army version setting up a tribunal of inquiry led by Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. The end of this tribunal was recorded on a report, which offended many individuals in that it supported the state’s version of the occurrence of the events, finding no fault committed by the army and no general breakdown in the discipline.
The engendered of the tribunal resulted in a deep distrust of citizens and a further alienation from the states. Many people tried to protest, but all in vain there was no response from the state instate the army were not prosecuted nor discipline for their action on bloody Sunday.
Furthermore, as a result of these actions taken by the states, there was an impact created on the rule of law. It resulted on the breakdown of trust by the national community in policies, judiciary, and the democratic procedures causing serious consequences on the people of Ireland and even Britain. The act of impunity when committing human rights abuse was pointed out by Fionnuala Nf Aolin as “The repercussions of Bloody Sunday……..has embedded in the cultural and political consciousness of Northern Ireland’s nationalist community” (Angela article paragraph 6). It was a watershed in the relationship between the minority communities and states. In the long run, the tribunal of inquiry ended up not disclosing the truth rather allowing for much public criticism. This led to an extensive damage in that the individuals who defended the inquiry lost their confidence in the rule of law, and they were undermined.
Another important impact of this was the purporting of the truth leading to the most affected communities finding another alternative to tell the version of the truth. This in turn, led to the campaign culminating in the institution by the Blair government of a second inquiry with an objective of inquiring into the definite matter of urgent public importance. This second inquiry bared no fruits at long last there was no truth found.
Another aspect rose because of the events on the blood Sunday on the civilian witnesses whereby they were rigorously questioned by the counsel, which was unfair because the witnesses did not know who was in the IRA. All this has left many questions to the public inquiries on whether they are the correct mechanism for finding the truth and achieving justice or not.
As a result, many Catholics have joined the Irish Republican Army as they saw no use of using peaceful approaches in dealing with the situation. The Army have given a prove that they can kill to protect the unionist in place as paramilitary, violence and killing activities are on the increase. Furthermore, these unionists are frightened of revenge hence an addition to the feeling of violence making Northern Ireland a battleground for war between extreme republication and loyalists.
Bloody Sunday had also a dramatic impact on the IRA in that the image of the army as peace keepers was exposed as a lie both in Ireland and the rest of the world. Following all this events, the IRA became central actors in the nation’s politics pushing such organizations like the Civil Rights Association into the margins. The victim’s families remain to be the most affected in the whole happenings of the events.
Evaluation of the films pertaining to these events and how it has managed to transmit the sense of reality which took place
Some mother son is based on hunger strike on 1981 following a dilemma of two women facing death of two of their sons facing hunger strike. The film demonstrates the female characters engaging with the male intransigence in which political principle is more important than the humanitarian issue of her son’s life. As said by George himself about the scenarios in the film, ”the women in the film are fair representatives of a type of a woman … who is involved politically and support the various strands of the republican movement …” (Slocum 222).
The summary on the film “bloody Sunday” is a description of events of a massacre which took place in the streets of Northern Ireland where twenty one individuals were gunned down by the British army. The story is about two men who are caught up in the cross fire where by one of them is an idealistic civil leader and the other one is a teenage catholic boy. The official’s findings of the government sponsored committee for investigation contradict the testimonies of the witnesses which clears the act of wrong doing by the British army. These events results to the occurrence of violence between Britain and all the elements of Ireland- north and south.
On the other hand, the film “some mother’s son” was directed by terry George focuses on the criminology and demoralization of policies. The film centers in a common dilemma of two mothers who the sons have joined the hunger strike. In addition, there is an IRA supporter Annie Higgins, played by the Fionnula Flanagan in the film. As the films opens one of the sons of IRA supporter has been killed, and the other son frank, plays another part of an IRA fugitive from justice. Her third child who is so fabulous smart mouthed and of quick temper named Theresa takes after Annie. Kathleen Quigley, a teacher in a Catholic school is political but, she hates the IRA because of the violence it stands. Like Annie she has three children, one is an IRA volunteer.
The film is a follow up by Kathleen’s gradual leftward politicization after her son’s arrest. Annie’s son is also convicted, and both men are sent to the maze to serve their for a life sentence. Because of this, Kathleen son joints an ongoing protest conducted by IRA prisoners. This is where he is betrayed as having no choice but to resort to a political action to ensure his welfare in prison is protected. In the process, Kathleen politically progresses in the event of making friendship with Annie. Tough they begin being hostile to one another, they eventually bond together closely later because of the political nature of Kathleen.
Eventually the results of the protests led to a hunger strike where the sons of Kathleen and Annie are involved. Ultimately, the two mothers hold the life of their sons and must make a decision either to let their sons die or live.
Even though, the both films are entirely the work of fiction, all events are the reality of the happening, which took place. This includes the hunger strike and the various prison protests leading to the strike. All performers in the film are depicted to be strong, accurate and beautifully understated. The humor of Kathleen is so pronounced that it has some effects on the other actors making the film come to a reality of the happenings. The background reinforces imagery in the film depicting a crucifixion of a young man on the union jack. Furthermore, all the characters in the film are composite characters based on the real people.
The bottom line of the film is the interplay between the personal and the political live of the main characters. Finding of such films has to be done because of the need for the recovery of the rule of law. This is an ethical and political necessity and an essential component of justice and peace in any nation whatsoever.