Magazine article New Internationalist

Hunger

Magazine article New Internationalist

Hunger

Article excerpt

Hunger

directed and co-written by Steve McQueen (95 minutes)

This is awesome, horrific and unforgettable. In 1981, Bobby Sands and other IRA prisoners went on a hunger strike. Leading up to this, hundreds went on a year-long 'dirty protest' in the Maze prison's ?-blocks. You'll need a strong stomach to watch some of it, such as a new arrival's entry into his shit-smeared, maggot-infested cell.

The prisoners' demand was simple - to have political, rather than criminal, status. This meant the right to wear their own clothes, to a weekly letter and visit, and to associate freely with other prisoners. But this is not a film about the politics of the IRA. It's rather about the extreme physical privations and pain these men put themselves through.

Director McQueen is a video artist and Turner Prize winner and his début drama is often eerily and brutally beautiful. We see hands moulding a dam wa out of food slops and then pouring piss under a cell door. …

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