Hunger 2008

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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.

Starring:
Liam Cunningham, Helena Bereen
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 36 minutes
Starring Liam Cunningham, Helena Bereen, Stuart Graham, Michael Fassbender, Larry Cowan, Laine Megaw, Rory Mullen, Brian Milligan, Liam McMahon, Dennis McCambridge
Director Steve McQueen (i), Steve McQueen
Genres Crime, Drama
Studio PATHE VIDEO
Rental release Limited availability
Main languages English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
This item has not been released yet and is not eligible to be reviewed.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Elias M VINE VOICE on 15 May 2009
Format: DVD
On a literal level, Steve McQueen's feature debut, Hunger, delineates the events surrounding the 1981 IRA Hunger Strike, led by Bobby Sands. It is also a meditation on the human body as political weapon, as well as an abstraction on what it means to die for a cause.
In spite of McQueen's celebrated status as a Turner Prize winning artist who has a long experience working in the film medium, the journey to realising his creative vision with Hunger was far from problem-free. At a Q&A session I attended towards the close of 2008, the film's producers, Laura Hastings-Smith and Robin Gutch, described the difficulty they encountered in trying to raise funds for the project. McQueen's perceived "radical" ideas, which included exploring the possibility of making a silent film, made some potential sponsors feel jittery.
The first third of the film is almost devoid of any dialogue at all whilst it works to set the scene. Silence is contrasted against the centrepiece of the film - a twenty-two minute duologue between Bobby Sands and a Catholic priest, in which both men discuss the utility or futility of a hunger strike. This is followed by a monologue by a doctor's detailed description to Sands' parents about the effect of starvation on the human body. The third act observes the six-week disintegration of Sands' body during his hunger strike, which proves to be both engrossing and almost impossible to watch. Hunger, in the end is an indelibly powerful, poetic and provocative work - both emotionally and intellectually.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Feb. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
As you've probably gathered most of the reviews are for the 'DVD' version of this harrowing account of the Hunger Strikes in Northern Ireland during the height of the 'Troubles'. The BLU RAY of Steve McQueen's remarkable film is available in two versions - but if you're a UK fan - which issue to buy?

Unfortunately the uber-desirable USA Criterion release is REGION-A LOCKED although it doesn't say so on Amazon.
So it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK BLU RAY players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't).
Don't confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front - that won't help.

Luckily the Euro (German) issue is REGION B - so that will play on UK machines (has German writing all over the back cover).

Check you're purchasing the right version before you buy the pricey Criterion release...
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful By haunted on 8 Dec. 2008
Format: DVD
It is, of course, impossible to make a non political film about the Maze Hunger Strikes of the early 80's. The events came from the political situation in Northern Ireland of the previous 12 (60?) years.

In my opinion McQueen does the right thing by concentrating on a single particular and admittedly very dramatic event of the period. Perhaps someone will one day make a comprehensive epic about the period but maybe it isn't the time yet. The general political details of how the protests arose are given in the film but mostly the camera just shows the events as they arise without comment.

The film has 3 parts. The first shows the self imposed conditions the prisoners lived in during the Blanket and Dirty protests. While I knew this involved them spreading their own excrement on the walls of their cells it is still a bit of a shock to see it re-enacted on screen. There are also long scenes showing the mistreatment by the prison guards. At one point I was thinking that the filmmaker was showing bias by spending so much time on this brutality. There is then a brief scene showing one of the prison officers being shot in the back of the head while visiting his senile mother in a nursing home.
Which actions are more brutal? Are any of them justified? McQueen leaves it up to the viewer to decide.
The middle section is an extended converstion between hunger strike leader Bobby Sands and a priest before the strike begins. They discuss the morality and motivation of the strike. Again McQueen sets out both views and leaves the decisions up to the viewer. I found one suggestion the priest made very interesting i.e. that Sands desperately wanted to be included in the Pantheon of Irish Republican martyrs such as Tone and Pearse.
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Format: DVD
This is going to be a very serious and a very sad film.

Im guessing the guy at the start is high up in the prison system.

The scenes are very long and considered. - Good film making - Kubriesque in its approach.

"I will not wear the uniform of a criminal. I demand to wear my own clothes."

The tension builds in a very harrowing film.

The cell that the prisoner is put in is absolutely horrific.

"How long did you get?"
- "Twelve years."

The director Steve McQueen also directed Shame and you can see his directing style coming through.

I've seen Shame and I really enjoyed it. - It too is a shocking film but this film feels even more shocking!

There's very little dialogue and given the length of the scenes its almost more like a documentary in its feel.

"Get ready!"

He's got blood on his hands.

That cell is in dire need of being cleaned!!

"Are you alright Bobby?!"
- "I'm grand Ma!"

It is absolutely disgusting how they pass messages and packages when seeing loved ones and relatives.

It looks like they've been given clothes to go and play golf in!!

The whole process is one will against the other.

Its an absolutely tragic film and there's parts where you seen the situation from other peoples' point of views. For example the very scared looking riot policeman who as the scenes progress plays no part and is in floods of tears.

I did not see the scene in the old peoples' home coming.

The scene between Bobby and the priest is the first scene in the film where there is extended dialogue.

"Maybe. Never tried it before."

So Bobby is going to start a hunger strike.
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