HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
   
 
Newest Articles
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
   
 
  Hunger Difference Of Opinion
Year: 2008
Director: Steve McQueen
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham, Stuart Graham, Brian Milligan, Liam McMahon, Frank McCusker, Lalor Roddy, Helen Madden, Des McAleer, Ben Peel, Rory Mullen, Billy Clarke, Ciaran Flynn, B.J. Hogg, Karen Hassan
Genre: Drama, BiopicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is 1981 and the Troubles in Northern Ireland have claimed the lives of over two thousand people since 1969, with no end in sight now the Conservative government led by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is unwilling to back down and agree to the republicans' demands. Those inmates at the Maze Prison see themselves as political prisoners, something the British authorities refuse to comply with, as in their view their acts of violence are criminal and nothing more. The stand-off has resulted in increasingly savage tactics on both sides, which leads republican prisoner Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender) to see the opportunity to take radical action...

The subject of the Troubles in Northern Ireland is still a controversial one, but artist Steve McQueen was never one to shy away from a challenge, so his first feature, as opposed to the video installations he had made before, tackled the last six weeks in the life of Sands, who at the time of his death was one of the most famous people in Britain and Ireland. The question that McQueen posed, if he posed any at all, was how did it feel to put yourself through this hell on earth for your ideology, and in that realm he left no detail unexplored, putting the audience as close to most of them would ever want to get to a dirty protest or a hunger strike.

Sands doesn't become a key figure in the film until about the halfway mark, but before that McQueen made it clear he was not making this to lionise or disparage any side, simply to recreate the atmosphere of the day, and what it was like inside that prison. We start by following one of the guards (Stuart Graham) as he prepares for work, wordlessly dressing, eating his breakfast, then most tellingly checking under his car for a bomb, not paranoia, but a precaution he has been instructed to take. We then cut to later on, after seeing the guard look alienated among his fellow officers, as he has bleeding knuckles and it doesn't take much thought to put two and two together to perceive how he got those.

Further on, we see those beatings meted out to the striking prisoners, who receive their attacks ostensibly as a way to control them: this is all about how the flesh of the inmates became both the site of the infliction of pain and order, and the weapon they used against their oppressors, so they smear shit over the walls of their cells, ensure their piss drains out into the corridor where it has to be cleaned up every day, and eventually the hunger strikes begin. Even those not in prison use their bodies in the fight against the authorities, concealing messages from home and even a radio there to be passed on during visiting hours, yet search for much in the way of politics, which is what the republicans wished to place on the table, and the film is lacking.

The centrepiece of this is two single take, over fifteen minute-long shots of Sands and a priest (Liam Cunningham), discussing the situation over a cigarette or two, a sequence that becomes the most riveting part of the work as it shows the intelligence on both sides that could easily be lost at the time amidst the killings and brutality. It marks the turning point for Sands as he makes it understood that he is willing to die for his cause, and for the moderates the priest represents who wish him to keep talking, keep pushing for negotiations because he does not wish anyone else to expire in the name of the conflict. What does not enter into it much is religion, simply a few pat references, as if to say that by this point Christ did not have much of a say either way, but then compassion looks to have been forced out by both extremes. The final act sees Sands' gruelling deterioration, McQueen conveying regret that if the dead man had chosen another way to make his stand, he would have been a far greater asset alive as leniency was quietly introduced. Music by David Holmes and Leo Abrahams.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2061 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: