Hunger (2008) Short Review

Directed by: Steve McQueen
Written by: Enda Walsh, Steve McQueen

 

Hunger tells a story about limits and beliefs. It’s a movie about strength, conviction and conflict. The conception of its storytelling comes from a quiet, observing place, in need of different points of view in order to show the facts, atmosphere and endurance of its reality.

The acting its strenuously real in this movie. McQueen’s directing strength might be in his stylized yet documental vision of the world, which appears through the cracks of this film’s long shots and unexplained narrative choices. His allusions to Jesus Christ, for example, are all over Hunger, as a metaphor that would better illustrate Bobby Sands’ fight and works in a most subtle way.

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I often caught myself wondering why is this happening? They’re going to die and nothing will improve. Towards the end of the movie, when Fassbender’s body resembles more of an undead corpse on his bed, I realized that what he was doing wasn’t so much the point, but the movie is constructed in such a way that you start thinking why, and who Bobby Sands was. What did he go through? Where can the human body and mind go? How does conflict impacts us individually?

The movie’s enigmatic yet naked cinematography and production design leaves open spaces for the watcher wander about Maze Prison, and count the seconds just like its prisoners. Even though I found a tad exhausting towards the end, this movie is great food for contemplation, as it constructs a well supported vision of reality without losing its poetic melancholy. A well made, intensely cruel and true experience of reflection.

A scene: the 20-minute-conversation with the Priest

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