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Hunger (2008)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 37,478 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 122 user | 214 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

Irish republican Bobby Sands leads the inmates of a Northern Irish prison in a hunger strike.

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Title: Hunger (2008)

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Cast

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Karen Hassan ...
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Frank McCusker ...
Lalor Roddy ...
Helen Madden ...
Des McAleer ...
Geoff Gatt ...
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Ben Peel ...
Helena Bereen ...
Paddy Jenkins ...
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Storyline

Hunger follows life in the Maze Prison, Northern Ireland with an interpretation of the highly emotive events surrounding the 1981 IRA Hunger Strike, led by Bobby Sands. With an epic eye for detail, the film provides a timely exploration of what happens when body and mind are pushed to the uttermost limit. Written by Icon

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A compelling and unforgettable portrayal of life within the maze prison at the time of 1981 IRA hunger strike. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

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Release Date:

31 October 2008 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Hunger  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,980 (USA) (5 December 2008)

Gross:

$154,084 (USA) (5 June 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene which features a conversation between Sands and a Catholic priest was filmed in one continuous 17-minute take on the first day of filming in Northern Ireland and took Michael Fassbender and co-star Liam Cunningham four attempts to complete. See more »

Goofs

Raymond Lohan's car - a Ford Granada - is a Mk2 Facelift, which wasn't released until winter 1981 and probably wouldn't be seen on Irish roads until '82. See more »

Quotes

Father Dominic Moran: [offering Sands a cigarette] Bit of a break from smokin' the Bible, eh?
Bobby Sands: [agrees]
Father Dominic Moran: Anyone work out which book is the best smoke?
Bobby Sands: We only smoke the Lamentations. A right miserable cigarette.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.20 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Industry
Performed by Maya Beiser
Composed by Michael Gordon
Published by Red Poppy in association with G. Schirmir, Inc.
Bang On A Can - Classics CA21010
Cantaloupe Music October 08, 2002
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Traumatic
24 November 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

1981.

The H block in Belfast's Maze Prison.

This film captures the development and escalation of protest by the 'political' prisoners held here as things moved through 'The 'Blanket protest' onto 'The Dirty Protest" and finally to 'The Hunger Strikes' that claimed Bobby Sands and eight of his compatriot's lives.

As the end credits of the film show, the enemy, in the form of Margaret Thatcher was 'not for turning' and did not grant political status to these men that she considered no more than murderers. They did, however, lead to many concessions - bit by bit.

This astounding movie falls into three very clear sections; the gut wrenching blanket and dirty protest; a long and deeply personal conversation (in one 20 minute take) between Sands and his priest where Sands is asked to justify and then walk away from the impending hunger strike; and finally Sands' ordeal itself.

Each section has a different pace and personality. Each is desperate in its own way.

This film pulls few punches. The stench of human excrement is almost palpable in the opening act and the way in which Michael Fassbender brings Sands' death to the screen is almost unbearable.

But the real triumph of the film is that it takes no political sides and makes no judgements but does not sit on the fence. How? Because it invokes the viewer to do that themselves. Sands is neither a figure to pity or to vilify. It really is quite remarkable that the artist Steve McQueen can achieve this so consistently.

And this is art with a capital A. Every scene is stunningly rendered. The pace, at times snail-like, allows you consider in real detail the situation these men found themselves in (or created however you want to look at it).

Fassbender's performance is miraculous.

McQueen though, is the star of the show. One scene in particular when the men slop out by pouring their night's urine under the doors of the corridor simultaneously is quite beautiful, as is the Hirst-like art that some of them create from their excrement (that's what makes up the poster image).

Film of the year. No contest.

Incidentally we saw it in the DCA's Cinema 2. What a cracking screen.

(As we scoffed coffee and fudge doughnuts. How's that for irony?)


39 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Was Sands a Terrorist? faulknerfan123
Good movie but that conversation scene was way too long Randomember
Can someone explain this to me? AlexanderSupertramp
Prisoners trashed the new rooms. Why? linda10989
Best Uncomfortable movies to watch i_m_pita_and
anyone felt bad for the guards carlaisthe
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