Previously at the ICA - Films

Hunger

13 Jan 201219 Jan 2012

British artist McQueen scooped the prize for best first feature at Cannes with Hunger, his superbly realised account of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands. Drawing on McQueen's acclaimed earlier work with video installations, he went on to make this riveting human drama, which is also a startling formalist triumph. Remarkably sensitive to rhythm, colour and sound, not to mention camera placement, the film demonstrates a unique and very precise formal control. This establishes an identity for the film, lifting it head and shoulders over any other prison dramas with the possible exception of Alan Clarke's Elephant. Yet Hunger never lets its mesmerising cinematography overpower the human drama. With consummate skill the film's exemplary form penetrates the interior lives of its characters in a manner which heightens our empathy with all involved. It's an audaciously risky approach – particularly when dealing with the lives of real people in a tense political climate - but it pays off in spades with one of the strongest cinematic debuts in a generation.

Dir: Steve McQueen, UK, 2008, 15 cert, 96 mins
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Stuart Graham, Helena Beree

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