Twenty years on from the Good Friday Agreement, we look back at the Troubles in Northern Ireland with this screening of Steve McQueen's acclaimed debut feature film Hunger, featuring a bravura performance from Michael Fassbender as IRA volunteer and Maze Prison hunger striker Bobby Sands.
The film unflinchingly depicts the struggle of the Irish republican prisoners who fought to regain political status after it was revoked by the British government, as well as their crimes of civil violence. Visual artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen's singular vision elevates the political standoff to an indelible portrait of the personal consequences of the conflict, as played out in the relations between prisoners, guards, and – in a remarkable 17-minute single-shot scene – the Catholic Church.
Hunger won McQueen the prestigious Cannes Caméra d'Or award for first-time filmmakers, and was voted best film of 2008 by Sight and Sound.
Marc Mullholand, Professor of Modern History at Oxford, will give an introductory talk to accompany the screening. Prof Mulholland was born in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh and counts among his earliest 'public' memories the 1981 Hunger Strikes that shook strife-torn Northern Ireland. He studied History at Queen's University Belfast, and has written widely on the Troubles, including a contribution to OUP's ever-popular Very Short Introduction series on Northern Ireland.