Today in history… March 1st, 1981, IRA (Irish Republican Army) member Bobby Sands begins a hunger strike at Northern Ireland’s Maze prison. He died 2 months later behind bars, on the 66th day of his hunger strike.
Fast-forward to 2008… Black British filmmaker Steve McQueen’s debut feature film, Hunger, laconically, dramatically and harrowingly reconstructs the imprisonment of Bobby Sands and his multi-week long hunger strike.
Michael Fassbender stars in the film, which, by the way, is now available in Netflix’s Instant Watch streaming library. So you can watch the critically acclaimed, multiple award-winning film this very minute (with a basic Netflix account), within 2 or 3 clicks of your mouse or touch-pad.
So, do it!!
Call it a deeply disturbing sensory experience, and a wonderful introduction to Steve McQueen’s general cinematic style and proclivities, as you prepare for what will likely be another deeply disturbing sensory experience when his Twelve Years A Slave opens later this year.
The film also received the Criterion Collection treatment on DVD and Blu-ray.
And when you’re done, if you haven’t seen it either, watch his second film, Shame, which isn’t streaming on Netflix, but is definitely available on DVD and Blu-ray.
After you watch both, that should help prepare you for what’s to come. Maybe not entirely, but close enough.
A trailer for Hunger follows below: