Hot Docs 2016: Bobby Sands: 66 Days

The hunger strike of Irish Republican Bobby Sands is recounted in Bobby Sands: 66 Days. By 1981, the troubles in Northern Ireland have been going on for more than two decades. Imprisoned IRA members, such as Bobby Sands, demanded to be considered political prisoners, rather than common criminals. Inspired by ancient Gaelic laws, Sands and others began a 66 days hunger strike, which would mark a key turning point in the relationship between the UK and Northern Ireland.

Bobby Sands: 66 Days uses diary entries and interviews to tell the story of Bobby Sand’s hunger strike, which was previously dramatized in the 2008 film Hunger. The film as a whole is general history lesson of the troubles in Northern Ireland, as it breaks down the events leading towards and after Bobby Sand’s incarceration. With the knowledge that the hunger strike would eventually kill him, this non-violent protest would mythologize Bobby Sands as a martyr and become a symbol for the plight of Irish Republicans.

For those that have little knowledge of the troubles in Northern Ireland, Bobby Sands: 66 Days works as a fairly competent introduction. The film more or less merely recounts the event, without really getting too much deeper on the issues. However, Bobby Sands: 66 Days is still a perfectly fine historical documentary about this turning point of IRA saga.

7 / 10 stars

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).