In the early 1980s, the Maze maximum-security prison in Northern Ireland housed dozens of IRA prisoners and was a flashpoint of the region’s violent Troubles. A massive hunger strike led to the death of 10 of those prisoners and, not long after, 38 more undertook a politically charged and astonishingly successful prison break. Based on these real-life events, writer/director Stephen Burke’s smart and suspenseful thriller tracks the motivations and manipulations of the escape plan’s chief architect, Larry Marley, a republican prisoner carrying a heavy load of survivor’s guilt. He develops a relationship with Gordon Close, the prison warder who could prove to be his greatest asset—or his undoing.
Burke’s tight script delivers a gripping multilayered conflict between—and sometimes among—the loyalists and republicans on both sides of the supposedly impenetrable prison walls. But it’s the interpersonal dynamics and inner conflicts of Marley and Close that deliver the true heat of this highly charged historical moment.
|Running Time:||93 minutes|
|Premiere Status:||North American Premiere|
|Producers:||Brendan J. Byrne, Jane Doolan|
|Principal Cast:||Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Barry Ward, Martin McCann|