LONDON.- Steve McQueen's film Hunger, about the last six weeks of the life of Provisional Irish Republican Army hunger striker Bobby Sands, is set to be released on October 31. The film premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. McQueen received the Caméra d'Or (first-time director) Award at Cannes. The film was also awarded the inaugural Sydney Film Festival Prize, for "its controlled clarity of vision, its extraordinary detail and bravery, the dedication of its cast and the power and resonance of its humanity". The film also won the 2008 Diesel Discovery Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. The award is voted on by the press attending the festival.
Kicking off with a special gala screening at this years prestigious London Film Festival on October 19th 2008, HUNGER is an intimate portrayal of life in Northern Irelands Maze Prison at the time of the 1981 IRA Hunger Strike, led by Bobby Sands. The film explores what happens when the morality of people, whether prisoners or prison guards, is tested to the limit, when the body itself is used as a weapon for people not being heard.
Co-written by Enda Walsh and Steve McQueen, produced by Laura Hastings-Smith and Robin Gutch, HUNGER stars Michael Fassbender as Bobby Sands, Liam Cunningham as Father Dominic Moran and Stuart Graham as prison officer Raymond Lohan. The cast also includes Brian Milligan, Liam McMahon and Lalor Roddy.
Hunger follows life in the Maze Prison, Northern Ireland with an interpretation of the highly emotive events surrounding the 1981 IRA Hunger Strike, led by Bobby Sands. With an epic eye for detail, the film provides a timely exploration of what happens when body and mind are pushed to the uttermost limit.
Raymond Lohan wearily follows his normal routine: an ordinary man doing the job of a prison officer in the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland, 1981. Working within one of the infamous H-Blocks, where republican prisoners are on the Blanket and No-Wash protest, is a living hell for both prisoner and prison officer.
A young, new prisoner Davey Gillen is brought into this environment for the first time. Although terrified, Davey resolutely refuses to wear the prison uniform - he is no common criminal. So joining the Blanket protest, he shares a filthy cell with another non-conforming republican prisoner Gerry Campbell. Gerry, hardened to the horrific realities of Maze life, guides Davey through the daily routine, he trains him how to smuggle items and exchange comms (communications) with the outside world, passing them on to their H-Block leader Bobby Sands at Sunday Mass.
The prisoners are persuaded to take up the prison regimes offer of civilian clothes a potential breakthrough in their struggle to regain political status only for them to be mocked by the clown clothes handed out. A riot erupts. In the mayhem, the prisoners destroy the clean cells theyve been moved to. The riot is violently crushed with beatings and body searches. The violence spreads beyond the Maze; no prison officer is safe and Raymond is shot dead.
Bobby Sands meets Father Dominic Moran. Once the initial humorous banter is out the way, Bobby reveals that he is going to lead a new Hunger Strike to protest for special category status for republican prisoners. The conversation immediately intensifies into a battle of words that illuminates the prisoners determination to begin another Hunger Strike through the priests questioning of motives and morality. Bobbys mind is unchanged and the strike will begin.
Later. Bobby Sands has been moved to the hospital wing as his condition deteriorates and where a friend and his parents visit him. Bobby Sands is the first to die of ten men.