Belfast Film Festival

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A Kind Of Sisterhood

Directed by Michele Devlin & Claire Hackett

This is the story of women political prisoners in Armagh and Maghaberry jails, told in their own words.

Although this part of the history of the conflict in the north of Ireland has been largely ignored in the media it is a complex and compelling story. The film spans a twenty five year period covering the first women internees in the

70s, the killing of a prison officer outside Armagh Gaol in 1979, the republican women’s protest for political status, as well as the closure of Armagh and transfer to Maghaberry prison in 1986. The struggle with prison authorities is vividly portrayed including the gruelling effects of the no wash protest by republican women and the isolation shown in a loyalist woman’s story.

Overall the women’s stories show the depth of suffering they endured but also their resistance to criminalisation and the strength of the bonds between them.  Through first person testimonies eight women ex-prisoners recall their experiences of this defining phase of their lives.