On September 25, 1983, 38 IRA inmates escaped from The Maze prison in Co Down, Northern Ireland during The Troubles. The stunning event is captured in the 2017 film 'Maze.'
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, best known for his role in Love/Hate, stars in the film as Larry Marley, who leads the daring breakout which involved a group of 38 inmates capturing one of the prison blocks, hijacking a garbage truck and breaking through the prison's gates.
Barry Ward plays antagonist Gordon Close, the largely intimidating warden of the prison and central obstacle for Marley’s plans.
One of the primary dynamics of the film is the fact that both Marley and Ward come from polar opposite sides of Northern Irish society, respectively belonging to the nationalist and unionist communities. Marley views this intense opposition between himself and Close as a chance to manipulate him so as to bring himself closer to escaping the prison.
However, whilst the two appear to be inherently opposed to one another at first, they find ultimately find themselves cultivating a highly improbable relationship that brings about trouble for each of them.
In an interview with The Irish Post, Vaughan-Lawlor expressed that the film was successful in providing commentary on both sides of The Troubles and presented both communities in a very clear light.
The film itself was shot at the currently inactive Cork City prison, as opposed to Maze, yet Vaughan-Lawlor described the space saying “it has history in its walls and it has an energy that you can’t really buy.”
Vaughan-Lawlor also highlighted the importance of the escape as being a direct consequence of the 1981 hunger strikes, as he found out during the research process for the film.
“I hope the film gives people a sense of how tough it must have been. It must have been hell,” Vaughan-Lawlor noted.
You can watch the trailer for 'Maze' here, which is currently available to buy or rent on Amazon Prime:
*Originally published in 2018
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