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UK: Pathe Distribution
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham, Stuart Graham, Brian Milligan, Liam McMahon, Lalor Roddy, Rory Mullen, Helena Bereen, Laine Megaw, Larry Cowan, Dennis McCambridge
Director: Steve McQueen
Countries: UK / Ireland
UK: 96 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong violence, language and medical gore
UK Release Date: 31 October 2008
UK DVD Release Date: 23 February 2009
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 regime's 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 they've 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 priest's questioning of motives and morality. Bobby's 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.
HUNGER is an intimate portrayal of life in Northern Ireland's 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.
Making of' documentary