This morning, I read that today, March 1, marks 35 years since Bobby Sands embarked on his hunger strike in Northern Ireland. He lasted 66 days without food or water, protesting his status as a criminal, rather than as a political prisoner. And then he died. Though the ethics or effect of his actions are worthy (and controversial) topics, what stuck with me after watching Steve McQueen’s 2008 film Hunger was how his motive was portrayed as a strong, even the strongest, thing.
In all honesty, I don’t know what’s worth fighting, or dying for. Sometimes I think there are good things, noble ideals, truths. But with one life to live, the fence often looks like the best vantage point in search of survival. I watched this film a few years back, but a strength and conviction like Bobby may have had is of an electrifying, devastating kind.
My life means everything to me. Freedom means everything…. This is wise times and we’ve come to a pause. It’s a time to keep your beliefs pure. I believe that a united Ireland is right and just. Maybe it’s impossible for a man like you to understand. But having a respect for my life, a desire for freedom, an unyielding love for that belief, means I can see past any doubts I may have. Putting my life on the line is not just the only thing I can do, Dom. It’s the right thing.
Watch the full scene here.