Soundtrack Festival 2008: Hunger

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Soundtrack Festival 2008: Hunger

This is the first feature film by Turner Prize winning “moving image” artisan Steve McQueen. It was loved big time at Cannes.

It’s a gut-wrencher. Politics are a heavy part of the film, without forcing any issues or decisions onto the viewer (I think). Hunger presents the last six weeks of Bobby Sands, a hunger striker and member of the IRA. Because it’s based on fact, the unhappy ending isn’t such a surprise.

The film opens by following a prison guard doing this thing, which includes some grittyshots of him nursing his fists after mashing up some inmates. Almost silent scenesslowly give you the sense of the abuse that happened in the prison.



What I enjoyed the most about McQueen’s debut is it messes around with point-of-views. You never quite know the views of some of the characters. Surprisingly, in this day and age there is a long scene (around fifteen minutes) without any editing. It worked, for the first eight minutes or so. Then it started to remind me how long the scene was.

Hunger is good, with flaws. I would love to see what Steve will do next. He has tackled a true story with both hands and made a decent debut. It’s raw, ugly, daring and moving.


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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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