30 October 2008
Starring Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham, Stuart Graham.
Directed by Steve McQueen.
Classification: MA15+, 90 mins.
On the 5th of May 1981 Sands was the first person to die on the hunger strike in Her Majesty's Maze prison near Belfast, Northern Ireland. After 217 days of protest and ten men dead, the hunger strike was called off by the prisoners: three days later the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced a number of changes in prison policy. Over the following 2 years all the prisoners' demands were granted. In 2000, the remaining political prisoners were released under the terms of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Sands's decision to use his body as a political tool reverberates in our post-9/11 world. Hunger is a timely and compelling exploration of belief and commitment. A film about the psychology and the price of long-term imprisonment, about how political conflict can escalate until neither side can lose face or back down, about what happens to the mind and body when pushed to their uttermost limits.