“I am standing on the threshold of another trembling world. May God have mercy on my soul.”
With these words, IRA volunteer Bobby Sands began his hunger strike on March 1, 1981. Sands’s act of bravery brought Ireland to a standstill, as the outside world watched an intense battle unfold between an unseen prisoner and the might of the British Government. Sands would die on May 5, 1981, aged 27. Parliaments around the world stopped for a minute’s silence in his honour.
Sands’s own words form the heart of Bobby Sands: 66 Days. His many poems, letters and ‘comms,’ all penned in prison, and in particular, his personal diary which he kept for the first 17 days of his hunger strike, provide an invaluable window into his beliefs, feelings, and aspirations. They serve to place his voice at the centre of the film and take us inside his head, the place where Sands eventually found freedom.