Tonight I watched again Some Mother’s Son. The middle film of the Jim Sheridan/Terry George trilogy. Focusing on individuals caught up in the modern IRA struggle to free the six northern counties of Ireland from the occupation of the British.
This the same charge that sent Bobby Sands to The Maze.
As Some Mother’s Son sets forth, Sands was the driving force behind the 1981 Maze hunger strike. That resulted in Ten Men Dead. In which Sands was the first to die.
The hunger strike arrived because the British, under newly-interred Prime Minister Maggot Thatcher, had determined the Irish were common criminals, rather than prisoners of war. And so, Maggot meted, they would be treated that way. As criminals. As garbage.
Sands & Co., in turn, determined to cooperate, in no way, in any way, with any regime that regarded him and his as garbage, that might delimit or diminish he and his, who considered themselves soldiers, in a war, to free the six northern counties of Ireland, from the thieving lying unutterable inexcusable unsupportable occupiers, from perfidious Albion.
Maggot, a freaking freezing cold-heart, probably the only woman to whom I have ever applied the word “bitch,” was happy, to sit back, and smile, and sip sherry, as the Irishmen, there in the Maze, starving themselves, died.
Happy, smiling, sipping sherry, that is, until it became clear that world opinion was coming to regard her, and her government, and her whole stinking country, as a blight upon the planet.
At which time she, her government, her country, caved.
Ten Men Dead, at the cost of ten men dead: won.
The strikers gained every bit, they had set out to gain, when first they began starving themselves.
While Maggot, when the histories come to be written, will be written off as but . . . a maggot.
In the film Some Mother’s Son, it surface-seems that events are being run by males.
You know: the usual Yang wanking bullshit. Blocking the roads. Firing off the grenades. Bruting the arrests. Making a spectacle of the trial. Monkeyminding the prison. From inside the cells and out. Mutual chest-beating. Because, each and every, is only and totally right. Hoot-hoot-a-hoot. Tarzan the Ape Man.
But, filmmaker George, himself a once and future Maze denizen, he be evolved a human. So, that, in the final frames of Some Mother’s Son, he presents The Message, in two women. Who, through the journey of the film, we have come to know. And who are the center of his film. As women are the center of life on this planet. One woman so caged and confined and frozen, she cannot intervene to save her son. And so this son dies. But, presents George, a second woman, who, a free human being, alive on this earth, as she hears various male foghorns bleat, till their lips bleed, about this and that sliver of political consequence, that must be Decided Upon, before the hunger strike may end, or again commence, and all of this blithering utter male bollockness presuming to decide, the life of her son, she, finally, silently, decides: bugger them all, and signs the medical release, that will return her son to life.
At which time, she says, looking into the eyes of her companera, who had allowed her own son to die: “I took Gerard off. I had to do it.”
To which her companera, who had not been strong enough to save her own son, acknowledges: “Somebody had to do it.”
Absolutely goddam right.