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Hunger (2008)
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Learn more about Hunger (Blu-ray):

Format: Blu-Ray DVD
Sku: 213267633
UPC: 715515052917
UPC 14: 00715515052917
Rating: NR
See more in Drama
 
Editor's Note
Renowned English video artist Steve McQueen's feature film debut, HUNGER, is a cinematic punch to the gut. McQueen brings a visceral intensity to his retelling of the hunger strike instigated by Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender) and several other detained Irish Republican Army members in the early 1980s, who were determined to live in a Northern Ireland free from British rule. In prison, Sands and other IRA members--including Davey Gillen (Brian Milligan) and Gerry Campbell (Liam McMahon)--at first protest by refusing to wear the standard prison garb, but soon, they take their protest dangerously further.

McQueen comes from an experimental background, and it shows. He and co-screenwriter, the acclaimed Irish playwright Enda Walsh, blow all the prison movie clichés out of the water. They break their film into three distinct acts. In the first, Gillen and Campbell are tormented by prison guards and made to suffer in a cramped, feces-smeared cell. In the second, Sands and Father Moran (Liam Cunningham) have a startling battle of wits--and emotions--that occurs in a dazzling extended one-take sequence. Lastly, we watch as Sands slowly withers away to nothing. It's impossible not to make a political film out of this furiously political material, but McQueen chooses to concentrate on the more visceral, tactile elements of the story to drive his point home. HUNGER is one of the more exciting directorial debuts of recent memory.

Technical Info


Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Criterion Collection
Video Release Date Release Date: 2/16/2010
Video Play Time Running Time: 96 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 2008
Video UPC UPC: 00715515052917
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks:
Video Color Spec Video: Color
Entertainment Reviews
Expert Review Hunger (2008) - The Criterion Collection - Blu-Ray DVD Review
By: Dusty Somers Blogcritics.org Reviews
Published on: 2/13/2010 7:48 PM
At once visceral and delicate, abstract and rigid, Steve McQueen’s debut feature film Hunger is unflinching in its examination of the Irish Republican Army hunger strikes in Northern Ireland in the early ’80s. McQueen, an artist who’s made a number of experimental films for art galleries, strikes an incredibly resonant chord here, showcasing his gift for imagery in a narrative context. Indeed, it’s somewhat astonishing how forceful the narrative is, despite being carried along by wisps of images — crumbs falling onto a lap, a cigarette in the snow, a fly and a hint of daylight....read the full review

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Stuart Graham
Video Cast Info Liam McMahon
Video Cast Info Liam Cunningham
Video Cast Info Brian Milligan
Video Cast Info Michael Fassbender
Video Cast Info Helena Bereen
Video Cast Info Larry Cowan
Video Cast Info David Holmes - Composer
Video Cast Info Leo Abrahams - Composer
Video Cast Info Sean Bobbit - Director of Photography
Video Cast Info Laura Hastings-Smith - Producer
Video Cast Info Robin Gutch - Producer
Video Cast Info Steve McQueen - Screenwriter
Video Cast Info Enda Walsh - Screenwriter
Video Cast Info Steve McQueen - Director

Professional Reviews

Total Film
4 stars out of 5 -- "McQueen shoots much of film almost without dialogue, heightening its bleak intensity." 12/01/2008 p.53

Empire
4 stars out of 5 -- "HUNGER is a powerful, difficult piece that announces McQueen as a singular talent, and Michael Fassbender as an actor of note." 11/01/2008 p.80

Box Office
3.5 stars out of 5 -- "The film is a remarkable directorial debut from British artist Steve McQueen....HUNGER's vivid realism has received acclaim..." 12/01/2008 p.38

Los Angeles Times
"McQueen deserves credit for his bold, confident approach to depicting the ordeals of such unyielding inmates as Davey Gillen, Gerry Campbell and, most notably, Bobby Sands." 12/05/2008

New York Times
"Steve McQueen, a Turner Prize-winning visual artist and first-time filmmaker, finds an almost uncanny balance of violence and quiet." 03/20/2009

Rolling Stone
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Fassbender is magnificent, finding the soul of a character stripped of all resources except those that define him as a man....Shockingly immediate and philosophically reflective, HUNGER is an indelibly moving tribute to what makes us human." 04/02/2009

Entertainment Weekly
"[O]ne of the most talked-about film-festival triumphs of 2008, a disturbingly avid re-creation of the last six weeks in the life and slow, self-imposed wasting of Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands..." -- Grade: A- 03/27/2009

Chicago Sun-Times
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "It was a desperate business, and HUNGER is a desperate film....Director Steve McQueen, an artist who employs merciless realism, strikes three major chords..." 04/15/2009

A.V. Club
"[One] of the best films of 2009....A gut-punch of a docudrama..." 02/17/2010

Wall Street Journal
"Mr. McQueen's concern isn't words that argue the merits of the case, but images that convey the horrific conditions in Belfast's Maze prison....Mr. Fassbender's performance is sensational..." 12/02/2011

Product Attributes

Product attributeVideo Format:   Blu-Ray
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