Cinema of the World
United Kingdom / 2008 / English dialogue / Colour / 35 mm / 96 minutes
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In his debut feature film, Turner-prize winning artist-turned-director Steve McQueen creates an even-handed take on the final days of IRA prisoner Bobby Sands, who led a group of Irish Republican prisoners in a mass hunger strike during the spring of 1981. 'Hunger' recreates with raw authenticity the wretched conditions faced by the prisoners incarcerated in the infamous Long Kesh - HMP Maze - prison. Dirty protests were commonplace, and the mental and physical brutality exercised by the 'screws' is portrayed with stark grimness. And at the centre of the story is the increasingly emaciated figure of Sands, portrayed here in an extraordinary performance by Michael Fassbender. McQueen's film is a steady, measured affair that nevertheless is harrowing and at times, difficult to watch. It is testament to his intuitive handling of an impassioned script and some extraordinary performances that 'Hunger' succeeds in presenting profound perspectives on this painful chapter in British history.


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