Hunger

Hunger

Steve McQueen (2008)

91min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
The debut feature from Turner Prize-winning artist Steve McQueen is a harrowing, unyielding but visually poetic depiction of the protests that took place among Republican prisoners in the Maze Prison, Northern Ireland, in 1981. Focusing on the hunger strike of Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender), this often wordless film creates an unsettling atmosphere through its detailed depiction of the daily routine, be it the disinfecting of a urine-soaked corridor or the systematic beating of inmates by prison staff (led by a stoic Stuart Graham). One atypically verbal exchange between an utterly convincing Fassbender and priest Liam Cunningham lasts 20 minutes, confirming McQueen as more than an exquisite stylist. Eschewing historical exposition beyond occasional spectral snippets from PM Margaret Thatcher, Hunger forces the viewer to face up to the hardships of prison life during times of conflict, but avoids the soapbox. The result is a work of art from which it's impossible to avert your eyes.

Summary

Steve McQueen's fact-based drama depicting the efforts of Irish Republican inmates in Northern Ireland's Maze prison to gain political prisoner status, focusing on the 66-day hunger strike undertaken by Bobby Sands in 1981, which resulted in his death. Starring Michael Fassbender, Stuart Graham, Liam Cunningham and Helena Bereen.

Cast & Crew

Bobby Sands Michael Fassbender
Ray Lohan Stuart Graham
Ray's mother Helena Bereen
Prison guard Larry Cowan
Father Moran Liam Cunningham
Beaten prisoner Dennis McCambridge
Gerry Liam McMahon
Director Steve McQueen
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: PathéGuidance: Contains violence and swearing.Available on: DVDReleased on: 31 Oct 2008
Drama