Hunger (Criterion Collection)

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Product Overview


Studio Criterion Collection
SKU 213267632
UPC 715515052818
UPC 14 00715515052818
Format DVD
Release Date 2/16/2010
Theatrical Release
True Story
Editors Note
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.
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
Steve McQueen
Liam Cunningham
Michael Fassbender
Cast & Crew
Stuart Graham - Star
Liam McMahon - Star
Liam Cunningham - Star
Brian Milligan - Star
Michael Fassbender - Star
Helena Bereen - Star
Larry Cowan - Star
David Holmes - Composer
Leo Abrahams - Composer
Sean Bobbit - Director of Photography
Laura Hastings-Smith - Producer
Robin Gutch - Producer
Steve McQueen - Screenwriter
Enda Walsh - Screenwriter
Steve McQueen - Director
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2008
UPC 00715515052818
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 96 minutes
Color Color
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD

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