Playwright: Big screen ignoring NI Protestants

Award-winning Ulster playwright Gary Mitchell claims Protestants are being ignored by the big screen when it comes to depicting the North.

The Belfast writer, whose stage plays look at the Loyalist community, often in stark terms, revealed that he was invited to attend the recent screening of the controversial 'Hunger', the film based on Bobby Sands and the IRA hunger strike at the Maze in the 1980s, but did not attend.

“Like a lot of working class Protestants, I have no interest in seeing 'Hunger'. I’ve already seen movies about the hunger strikes, I don’t need to see another one.

“I’m not suggesting that people stop producing films that show a nationalist point of view, but there should be some balance. We’d like to see the other side of the story occasionally.

“My fear is that people will take films about Northern Ireland not as works of art but as pieces of history.

“If you judged Northern Ireland purely on the basis of films you would think there are no Protestants here.”

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