26 January, 2009

Hunger (2008)

Food for thought

Honoured with the European Discovery Award at the 2008 EFA gala prize-giving ceremony, Turner Prize winning Steve McQueen (he’s a war artist in Iraq and is currently campaigning to put the faces of dead British soldiers on stamps) offers his uncompromising, devastating portrait of H-block hunger striker Bobby Sands.

Already greeted with both adulation and anger, McQueen's harrowing account depicts the last months of the life of IRA Republican prisoner Sands (a remarkable Michael Fassbender performance), who starved himself to death in The Maze prison, near Belfast, in 1981, as a protest to gain political recognition.

Clearly influenced by his time in Iraq, McQueen manages to incorporate a contemporary resonance to the story, even though his artistic flair occasionally spills over into excess. No matter - the effect is still spellbinding. Hunger marks McQueen as a man to watch.

Awards: Click here for details.

96 mins.

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