It has been several weeks since any Criterion films have found their way onto the list of films available on Netflix Watch Instantly. There were a few months where every other week we saw dozens of Criterion films added.
In a very auspicious act, Netflix has added Steve McQueen’s 2008 film, Hunger, to their Watch Insantly selection. It is auspicious in that we are going to be recording a podcast this Friday, June 11th, discussing this harrowing film with a special guest!
The film dramatically recreates the imprisonment of Bobby Sands, an IRA member who goes on a six week long hunger strike, through an incredible performance by Michael Fassbender.
This film was released several months ago by Criterion (as part of their deal with IFC Films) on DVD and Blu-ray. So listeners who are eager to join in on the discussion have yet another format with which to watch the film on.
Steve McQueen, Criterion # 504
With Hunger, British filmmaker and artist Steve McQueen has turned one of history’s most controversial acts of political defiance into a jarring, unforgettable cinematic experience. In Northern Ireland’s Maze prison in 1981, twenty-seven-year-old Irish Republican Army member Bobby Sands went on a hunger strike to protest the British government’s refusal to recognize him and his fellow IRA inmates as political prisoners. McQueen dramatizes prison existence and Sands’s final days in a way that is purely experiential, even abstract, a succession of images full of both beauty and horror. Featuring an intense performance by Michael Fassbender, Hunger is an unflinching, transcendent depiction of what a human being is willing to endure to be heard.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION
- New, restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by director Steve McQueen (with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
- Video interviews with McQueen and actor Michael Fassbender
- A short documentary on the making of Hunger, including interviews with McQueen, Fassbender, actors Liam Cunningham, Stuart Graham, and Brian Milligan, writer Enda Walsh, and producer Robin Gutch
- ‘The Provo’s Last Card?,’ a 1981 episode of the BBC program Panorama, about the Maze prison hunger strikes and the political and civilian reactions across Northern Ireland
- Theatrical trailer
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Chris Darke