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  • Contains strong violence, language and medical gore
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Hunger

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Hunger 15 rating

Northern Ireland, 1981. In the Maze prison, Bobby Sands begins a hunger strike to reclaim the status of Republican inmates as political prisoners.

Biopic 2008 96 mins

Director: Steve McQueen

Overview

Northern Ireland, 1981. In the Maze prison, Bobby Sands begins a hunger strike to reclaim the status of Republican inmates as political prisoners. Steve McQueen's first feature film is an incendiary work with a lasting emotional impact.

With long takes and icy detachment some may consider it uncinematic, but this is storytelling at its most wretchedly effective. In the lead role, Michael Fassbender commands the picture, his slow disintegration evoking the director's statement that "It's the whole idea of the body as a weapon." In a bravura scene, Sands debates the ethics and efficacy of his methods with a priest (Liam Cunningham). The camera is static, the pace rhythmic. The effect is to mesmerise, to transplant the viewer from their world into a place where dogma determines life and death. Hunger establishes some of the themes McQueen and Fassbender would return to in Shame and 12 Years A Slave, minting a creative partnership that may already be one of cinema's most productive.