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DPAC Presents ‘Hunger’

Maija Gustin | Wednesday, February 3, 2010

This Saturday, Feb. 6, the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center will be screening the Irish film “Hunger.” The film is director Steve McQueen’s (not that Steve McQueen) directorial debut, and has met with praise from film circles around the world. The movie centers on a real-life Irish hunger strike from 1981. Michael Fassbender plays Bobby Sands, an Irish revolutionary who organized this hunger strike to protest horrid conditions in the Maze Prison.

But this prison is not just any prison. It is more of an internment camp than a prison, where internees live military-structured lives and study guerilla warfare. However, convicted prisoners are denied the same rights that these internees get. They are treated as sub-human and have almost no autonomy over their own rights. Enter Bobby Sands, a volunteer for the Provisional Irish Republican Army. While hunger strikes had been used both in and out of the prison system prior to this 1981 strike, Sands’ proved most effective. Prisoners joined one at a time at spread out intervals, hoping to garner more public support and put heavy pressure on Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. This proved to be more effective than past tactics. But to know the results of Sands’ hunger strike, check out “Hunger” this weekend.

However, “Hunger” is more than a simple black-and-white retelling of this famous Irish historical event. It explores the lives and relationships of the men involved and it questions the ethics and morality of hunger strikes.

“Hunger” has received numerous awards and nominations since its release in 2008, including the Caméra d’Or prize for new filmmakers at the Cannes Film Festival. The film has gone on to become one of the most successful Irish movies ever made. Director McQueen and star Fassbender have also garnered massive praise from around the world.
“Hunger” is sponsored by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. It begins at 6:30 Saturday and runs for 90 minutes. It is a free but ticketed event. For tickets or more information, call or visit the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center Ticket Office.