Directed by Steve McQueen • 2008 • Ireland, United Kingdom
Starring Michael Fassbender, Stuart Graham, Liam Cunningham
With HUNGER, British filmmaker and artist Steve McQueen has turned one of history’s most controversial acts of political defiance into a jarring, unforgettable cinematic experience. In Northern Ireland’s Maze prison in 1981, twenty-seven-year-old Irish Republican Army member Bobby Sands went on a hunger strike to protest the British government’s refusal to recognize him and his fellow IRA inmates as political prisoners. McQueen dramatizes prison existence and Sands’s final days in a way that is purely experiential, even abstract, a succession of images full of both beauty and horror. Featuring an intense performance by Michael Fassbender, HUNGER is an unflinching, transcendent depiction of what a human being is willing to endure to be heard.
In his stunning feature debut, Steve McQueen (SMALL AXE, 12 YEARS A SLAVE) used minimal dialogue and vivid imagery to tell the harrowing true story of Irish Republican Army member and political prisoner Bobby Sands’s hunger strike against the British state. In this edition of Observations on Film...