Postscript: “You Look Like Jesus Christ”: Images of Republican POWs in Contemporary Cinema

  • Lachlan Whalen
Part of the New Directions in Irish and Irish American Literature book series (NDIIAL)


Midway through the film Some Mother’s Son, Gerard—a newly incarcerated Irish Republican Army prisoner—is shocked at Bobby Sands’ appearance. It is 1980—the height of the Blanket and No-Wash Protests for political status in the H Blocks. Though his reputation precedes him as officer commanding (OC) of the Republican prisoners in the H Blocks, Sands’s scraggly beard and long hair make him unrecognizable to Gerard. “Do I look that bad?” Sands asks his new cellmate with a chuckle. “You look like Jesus Christ!” replies Gerard, only half-joking, his smile dissolving into a look of startled concern.1


British Government Prison Officer Officer Commanding Hunger Strike Criminal Conspiracy 
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Chapter Six Postscript: “You Look Like Jesus Christ”: Images of Republican POWs in Contemporary Cinema

  1. 6.
    Gerry Adams, “Early Risers,” Cage Eleven (Dingle: Brandon, 1990) 24.Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    Laurence McKeown, Out of Time: Irish Republican Prisoners Long Kesh 1972–2000 (Belfast: Beyond the Pale, 2001) 56–7.Google Scholar
  3. 18.
    Bobby Sands, Skylark Sing Your Lonely Song (Dublin and Cork: Mercier, 1982) 171.Google Scholar
  4. 21.
    Liz Curtis, Ireland: The Propaganda War (Belfast: Sásta, 1998) 128.Google Scholar
  5. 22.
    Martin McLoone, Irish Film: The Emergence of a Contemporary Cinema ((London: British Film Institute, 2000) 70.Google Scholar
  6. 26.
    Gerry Conlon, In the Name of the Father (New York: Plume, 1993) 159.Google Scholar

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© Lachlan Whalen 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lachlan Whalen

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