What a juxtaposition to read yesterday's David Park Op-Ed piece (about the recent terrorist killings in Northern Ireland) in The New York Times and then head directly out to a screening of HUNGER, the new movie by Britain's Turner Prize-winning film/photography artist and first-time filmmaker Steve McQueen. This extremely disturbing movie thrusts us back nearly three decades into the heat of the Irish "troubles" and the time of the famous hunger strike by (depending on one's viewpoint) patriot, politician or terrorist Bobby Sands, which resulted in his death some weeks later.
There is little spoken dialog for the first half of the movie; then mid-way, Sands meets with a Catholic priest (fine work from Liam Cunningham, shown right, below) and engages in a conversation that runs the gamut from bitterly hilarious to deeply sad while remaining on-point and explorative regarding the reason for Sands' upcoming hunger strike. The remainder of the film is devoted to that strike and its results.
Hunger opens Friday, March 20, at the IFC Center, with a national release to follow. It will also be available nationwide on IFC Films’ video-on-demand platform, available to 50 million homes in all major markets.