– ‚You want me to argue about the morality of what I am about to do?’
Do you think that purity could frighten you? Do you think that plain images could distress you as much your own emotional, inner self? Are you scared of taking a look? Can you bear the pure portrayal of reality? You can’t. But sometimes it is necessary to be able to judge if it actually is real.
‘Hunger’ is a movie by Steve McQueen from 2008. It is a portrayal of the Irish Republican Bobby Sands. The movie follows with the true story of a Hunger Strike by the Irish Republicans in 1981. The scene is set in the Maze Prison where Bobby Sands tells us the story of how he lived up to his own beliefs, until his last breath. The British Government has withdrawn the political status of all paramilitary prisoners. This caused the ‘blanket’ and ‘no wash’ protest, led by the imprisoned Rebublicans. ‘Hunger’ is staged around Sands’ role in all action; but it requires much, much more individual research in order to fully grasp what this powerful movie is showing us.
Michael Fassbender plays Bobby- not driven by the emotions that play along with the character but as objectively as he possibly could, he said in an interview. Why he chose to do that, or rather why it was the only possible way to do that, becomes rather obvious when we look at what defines the movie. It is full of areas of conflict and tension. Do you stand on the side of the politics or the individual? Is the affection or the ignorance the problem? Was it suicide or murder? ‘Hunger’ stimulates all senses – especially the common sense.
In regards of how McQueen manages to do that, it is worth to focus on what you actually see on screen. The camera shares an empathy that will demonstrate you the vulnerability of human rights. This movie is driven by the interplay of words, actions and forces. Fassbender, who had his breakout through this film, describes Steve McQueen as a genius.
There is not much sound that could sophisticate the meaning of what is shown in frame. There are, however, very vivid pictures that crash into your memory.
This movie will play with your nerves. It won’t allow your thoughts to wander off. When the credits are rolling, there will be numbness and questions.