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Directed by Steve McQueen.(Being Steve McQueen the British artist, not Steve McQueen the Hollywood star)

Hunger tells of the IRA's so called dirty protest and the last days of Bobby Sands the hunger striker back in 1981.

The film opens with meticulously filmed scenes of a man preparing to go to work. Because you understand the subject matter you're waiting for him to take a look under his car before he moves off, only then you confirm he's a member of the security services, in fact a prison officer. A series of very beautifully filmed scenes begin, beautiful in contrast with the subject matter - grazed knuckles from beating up prisoners, cell walls smeared with excreta, urine soaked prison corridors, filthy prisoners wrapped only in blankets their shaggy hair and beards like biblical characters, crying prison guards, frightened young prisoners.

The film covers the few days of decision and the 66 days that it takes for Bobby Sands to starve to death - an amazing piece of acting from Michael Fassbender, absolutely gruelling to watch. There's a mid section when Sands is visited by a priest which allows for the thoughts behind his beliefs to be expressed. A whirlwind of an exchange contrasting heavily with the almost silent majority of the scenes, a slow paced affair which leaves time to think.

I think in order to have some perspective on this film beyond it's undoubtedly powerful attack on your senses, you must have some knowledge of the events of the time otherwise it'd be too easy to accept Bobby Sands as a martyr. I don't think that's the aim of the film, in fact it is pretty even handed in approach but without some background in knowing about Loyalist and Republican history and the effect on the citizens of Northern Ireland your understanding would be diminished.

Hearing Thatcher's intransigent tones playing over the radio at various points in Hunger takes me right back to those times when she, and only she was in the right (never even mind what her Ministers thought). So much heartbreak was caused by that woman's regime. Did she prolong the troubles in Northern Ireland by her stubborn resistance? Let's say she didn't contribute anything useful towards the peace, just like she did nothing for the people of Northern England...but then that's another story.

(sorry I've not posted much on this thread, we've been through a sad time lately)