7.6/10
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Hunger (2008)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama | 31 October 2008 (Ireland)
Irish republican Bobby Sands leads the inmates of a Northern Irish prison in a hunger strike.

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45 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Gerry's Girlfriend
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Frank McCusker ...
The Governor
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William
Helen Madden ...
Des McAleer ...
Geoff Gatt ...
Bearded Man
Rory Mullen ...
Ben Peel ...
Riot Prison Offficer Stephen Graves
Helena Bereen ...
Raymond's Mother
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Hitman
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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:

An odyssey, in which the smallest gestures become epic and when the body is the last resource for protest. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

31 October 2008 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Fome  »

Box Office

Budget:

£1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£136,413 (UK) (2 November 2008)

Gross:

$154,084 (USA) (7 June 2009)
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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bobby Sands first appears on screen 26 minutes into the film. See more »

Goofs

Raymond Lohan's Ford Granada is a Mk2 Facelift, which was released in winter 1981 and would've appeared on Irish roads in 1982. See more »

Quotes

Father Dominic Moran: Priest: "I want to know whether your intent is just purely to commit suicide here."
Bobby Sands: Bobby Sands: "You want me to argue about the morality of what I'm about to do and whether it's really suicide or not? For one, you're calling it suicide. I call it murder. And that's just another wee difference between us two. We're both Catholic men, both Republicans. But while you were poaching salmon in beautiful Kilrea, we were being burnt out of our house in Rathcoole. Similar in many ways, Dom, but life ...
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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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User Reviews

 
Finding beauty in the horror.
28 September 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This debut from former artist turned director Steve McQueen will leave you breathless. In its own understated way it is epic, bold, brutal and beautiful. Telling the story of the last six weeks in the life of Bobby Sands the Irish republican hunger striker the film pulls no punches in showing life inside the maze prison and what the prisoners did to try and win political status. From the outset the shots are amazing with McQueen utilising his artistic eye to bring the best out of the very cold prison environment, his attention to detail is simply stunning making every single frame fantastically watchable despite the sometimes gruesome subject matter. Also his approach of less is more adds to the atmosphere as he has shots that have no sounds or music, like the guard cleaning the corridor with its fixed camera unflinching for several minutes the only sound the eerie echoing scrubbing. Unofficially split into three the first part deals with the incarceration and subsequent no wash protests while the last deals with the hunger strikes but it's the central piece that separates which most will remember for its ability to captivate despite just being a conversation between Sands and a visiting priest. Again shot from a fixed angle and superbly lit Sands (Fassbender) explains the morality behind his decision to stop eating. The acting and the monologue will stay with you long after the films finished and cements actor Fassbender firmly in the role to the point where you start to feel for him as he begins to waste away. When the film premiered at Cannes it caused walkouts and standing ovations before walking away with the Camera d'Or for best debut and rightly so, not only is it one of the best films of the year it is one of the most powerful I've seen. Regardless of where you stand politically the message is universal and just like the circle of faeces smeared on Sands cell wall, McQueen has crafted something beautiful out of something horrible.


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