Wednesday 5 August 2009

Mickey B (But What About Me?)

Here’s something I found pretty interesting...

"Belfast-based film charity, the Educational Shakespeare Company (ESC) have produced the first ever feature film to be made with by and with prisoners in a maximum-security prison anywhere in the world...

ESC chose to adapt Macbeth – which eventually became Mickey B – for a number of reasons, a key one being that the ultimate moral of Macbeth is that crime does not pay. It is a play about violence and the repercussions of violence. Taking part in the film enabled non-conforming life-sentence prisoners to act out and understand the implications of their violent crimes. Using the lens of fiction provided them with a stepping-stone towards examining and understanding their own motivations and relationships with violence."

The rest of the article is here.

It’s certainly a ballsy idea, isn’t it? And probably not unlike the kind of thing Neville Thompson has done in the past with his STREETWISE anthologies in which Irish prisoners contributed fictional accounts based on their criminal experiences. And the article does push the point that the project has focussed on rehabilitation throughout, which is where the focus needs to be; especially since crazy remission laws in Northern Ireland mean that most prisoners serve half their sentences.

But there’s a jealous wee part of me that wonders why I can’t work on a movie like this. Am I too upstanding? Improvements to their behaviour aside, have these guys earned the right to the kind of privileges so many budding writers, actors, directors, etc strive for? I guess it’s not for a bitter wannabe-writer like me to decide.

And I’ll more than likely watch this movie at some point, so I guess I’m not THAT jealous.


adrian mckinty said...

They're always doing crap like that. And where's my part of the effing stimulus everyone keeps talking about.

Seriously give me a few grand and I'll do something well creative so I will.

Gerard Brennan said...

Adrian - Sign me up in your 'something well creative' and we'll do a cross-planet, cross-community thing.