Hunger (2008) is the first feature-length film directed by the British artist Steve McQueen (London, 1969), one of the most influential directors in the United Kingdom. The film depicts life in Maze Prison in Northern Ireland during the IRA hunger strike led by Bobby Sands in 1981. With an epic sense of detail, the film offers an opportune exploration of what happens when both mind and body are taken to the limit.
With this first full-length film, which won the Caméra d'Or for best first feature at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, McQueen tried to transmit - from a physical, sensitive and emotional perspective - something difficult to find in books or archives: what is ordinary and extraordinary about life in this prison. At the same time, by abstracting the particular from the universal, Hunger can be read as an allegory for what it means to die for a cause.
Steve McQueen’s work has been shown in museums around the world and acquired by institutions such as the Guggenheim Museum (New York), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), the Tate Gallery (London) and the Centre Pompidou (Paris). In 2009 he represented England at the Biennale di Venezia.
Hunger, 2008, 35mm, colour, sound, English with Spanish subtitles, 96’