Future Classic Movie: Hunger (2008)

First, I would like to thank Paula of Paula’s Cinema Club for asking me to take part in the blogathon, Future Classic Movies. Here is the Rule of Engagement:

The job is to predict at least one movie from 2000 to the present that will endure 30-40+ years into the future, much like CASABLANCA or GONE WITH THE WIND have done today. Bonus predictions could be who will be hosting on this channel and how will movies be delivered to the consumer (hologram, chip in the brain, etc.).

After much deliberation and back and forth, I have decided on Steve McQueen’s 2008 feature film debut Hunger. I have only seen it once and the experience had such an impact on me that I cannot imagine that this film will be forgotten by any and all who see it.

Simply stated this is an amazing debut for the Turner Prize winner; he handles the film with a level of confidence that you would expect in someone very experienced. For me this is a perfect example of cinema as an art form. Hunger features Michael Fassbender (in his breakthrough performance) and Liam Cunningham (The Guard).

The story is a very controversial one that centers on IRA member Bobby Sands (Fassbender), who along with his fellow imprisoned IRA members embarked on a hunger strike. This series of events would lead to Sands’ demise.

Not to diminish the political impact or significance of the events surrounding the film, but this is part of the reason that I feel the film will continue to be a source of debate in the decades to come.

As a work of cinematic art, McQueen uses very few words to tell us an emotionally charged story, often in disturbingly graphic detail, about the conditions the inmates placed themselves under. On a more esoteric level, the piece is on a statement on the lengths an individual (or group of individuals) will go to for a set of convicted beliefs. McQueen also manages to tow the fine line of not necessarily taking sides with the issue. In fact, in the film’s only dialogue – heavy scene between Sands and Liam Cunningham’s priest’s demonstrates the fine line between passion, conviction and irrational fervor.


  1. Interesting choice, no doubt Fassbender turned in an astounding performance but it’s not the kind of film I like to see more than once.
    ruth recently posted..The FCM Blog-a-thon — What movie(s) will become a Future Classic?My Profile

  2. @Ruth Totally there with you. I just feel that it is such an evocative and provacative piece of cinema that it will continued to be talked about in the future.

  3. Wonderful article and contribution to this event. I’ve always heard a lot this, their first collaboration together, but have not seen it. Your piece demonstrates why I have to fix that oversight. Well done. Thank you for this and your generous consideration you and Paula gave me.
    le0pard13 recently posted..Future Classic Movies: Children of MenMy Profile

  4. Thank you for writing this great post for the blogathon. if the definition of a classic is, something that can be debated and discussed continuously, and I think it is, HUNGER (2008) will be around for a long time.
    Paula recently posted..Future Classic Movies Blogathon MEGA POSTMy Profile

  5. Thanks for the review. To be honest, I’ve avoided it – I’ve seen Shame and that was pretty gut-wrenching. As someone of Irish-Catholic decent, I’m afraid it would just make me angry. But I totally agree: McQueen and Fassbender are amazing at what the do. And due to its subject matter, I think it will be talked about 30 years from now.
    Tim Guthat recently posted..Future Classic Movies: Jane Eyre (2011)My Profile

    • Exactly. I do not know how many films will make together but so far they are two down, one in production and goodness know what else is in store for the future. I think that has the makings of being a great cinematic collaboration.

  6. I haven’t seen this one before actually, and remember everyone talking about it as one of Fassbender’s best.

    You bring it back to mind and remind me that I need to watch it. Thank you.

    An interesting choice that I now look forward to seeing, since it is now worthy of being a classic! Great post!
    The Focused Filmographer recently posted..Future Classic Movies BlogathonMy Profile

  7. As Ruth mentioned in the comments, this is a great movie but not a movie I’d watch again. I originally watched it of course for Fassbender and he gave such an amazing performance! Although by the film’s conclusion I was emotionally drained. Great choice!
    Kristen recently posted..Midnight Mary (1933)My Profile

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