Film / Hunger

Hunger is a 2008 British movie, the first to be directed by artist Steve McQueen (no relation to the 60's action star). It involves Irish prisoners of The Troubles, and the various ways they protest, starting with "no-wash" protests and ending in hunger strikes and stars Irish actor Michael Fassbender.

Not to be confused with the [PROTOTYPE] fanfic of the same name, or with the 1983 movie The Hunger.

Tropes used in Hunger include:

  • Bilingual Bonus: Longtime prisoner Gerry Campbell attempts to converse with his new cellmate Davey Gillen in Irish, but it becomes quickly apparent that Gillen has no knowledge of the language.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The prisoners' puddles of urine all flow into one continuous stream on the floor of their cellblock, which later on in the film is swept away by a prison guard.
  • Excrement Statement: The purpose of the "dirty protests", where the prisoners smear their feces all over the walls of their cells and urinate out into the hallway.
  • Fan Disservice: Continually naked men would be appealing to some, except they're unwashed, unnaturally thin, and often abused by prison officers.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The American DVD box tells you that it involves "[Bobby] Sands' last days." Needless to say, he dies in the end.
  • Leave the Camera Running: Long shots of walls, corridors, hands, etc. being washed.
  • Imagine Spot: Just before Bobby Sands dies he vividly experiences a memory of him jogging in the woods as a child.
  • Invulnerable Knuckles: Averted, prison officer Raymond hurts his hand pretty badly after punching the wall by accident.
  • Mercy Kill: Bobby tells the story of an injured foal that he and his friends found at a young age. And that he took the initiative to end its suffering, knowing that it was the right thing to do.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Some of the prisoners get brutally beaten by a collection of riot officers.
  • The Oner: Several count as Leave the Camera Running. Particularly notable is a scene where Bobby Sands and his priest discuss the upcoming hunger strike; it goes for 17 and a half minutes, a record length.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Almost. Bobby Sands dies, 9 more men die after him, and their goal (the status of political prisoner) is never completely accomplished. They do, however, get equivalent rights granted to the prisoners.
  • Silence Is Golden: Much of the film goes by with little to no dialogue.
  • The Troubles
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: The movie never stops to explain why the prisoners refuse to wash, wear blankets, etc. Heck, even what Irish Republicanism is is barely mentioned in the film
    • As the film is British, most of its viewers would be aware of Northern Ireland's political history and the wash protests and hunger strikes.