Posted February 26, 2009 in DVD/Digital Reviews

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Hunger stars Michael Fassbender as Bobby Sands, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) member who led the 1981 hunger strike where Republican inmates in the Maze prison tried to win political status. The film dramatises events in the prison in the six weeks prior to Sands death. From the beginning, director McQueen doesn't allow the viewer anywhere to hide from the horror at the prison: from prison guard Raymond Lohan (Stuart Graham) preparing to leave for work and routinely checking under his car for bombs and the resistance campaign of the prisoners smearing the cell walls with their faeces, to the close-up and gruesome emaciation of Fassbender's Sands. It's all conceived with the bare minimum of dialogue – that is until Hunger's centerpiece where Sands debates the morality of the hunger strike with a visiting priest (LiamCunningham). Violent, bleak and depressing, the film's premiere at Cannes sparked both walkouts and a standing ovation – no doubt it will attract an equally mixed reception here.



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