“Positively riveting. An artistic masterpiece. A harrowing, poetic film.” —Washington Post
The Walker Art Center’s ongoing series Premieres: First Look continues with the area premiere screening of Turner Prize-winning visual artist Steve McQueen’s critically acclaimed
, April 10–26 (Friday and Saturday, April 10, 11, 17, 18, and 25, 7:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday, April 11 and 26, 2 pm). McQueen’s first feature film is an unflinching examination of the last six weeks in the life of Bobby Sands, a member of the Irish Republican Army who engaged in a hunger strike in Northern Ireland’s Maze Prison in 1981. The situation between guards and prisoners escalates to a fever pitch as this engrossing film shows the extraordinary power of physical, psychological, and spiritual resistance, and reveals the extreme sacrifice Sands and his cellmates endured for their political convictions. “Hunger is raw, powerful filmmaking and an urgent reminder of this uniquely ugly, tragic and dysfunctional period in British and Irish history” (The Guardian). 2008, 35mm, 96 minutes.
Of Hunger, McQueen says, “Over the course of months of thinking about the making of a feature film quite intensively, and registering what was going on around me at that time, I became very interested in Bobby Sands. When I was a child growing up in 1981, aged about 11 or 12, there were three things that influenced me: the Brixton Riots, Tottenham winning the FA Cup—which was fantastic—and Bobby Sands. His image appeared on the TV screen virtually every night with a number underneath it and it stayed with me . . . that passion and that level of confrontation to die on hunger strike. This memory and this opportunity drew me to find out more about him and I thought it could be a powerful film.”
Hunger has been recognized with numerous awards: the Camera d’Or and the Fipresci International Critics Prize (2008 Cannes Film Festival); the New Generation Award (2008 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards); the Discovery Award (2008 Toronto International Film Festival); the Golden Hugo for Best Film (Chicago International Film Festival); the Douglas Hilcox Award (British Independent Film Awards 2008); Best Actor (British Independent Film Awards 2008); and European Discovery of the Year–Steve McQueen (2008 European Film Awards). It was nominated for Best Foreign Film (2009 Independent Spirit Awards).
Steve McQueen is one of Britain’s most influential artists. Born in London in 1969, he attended the Chelsea School of Art and Goldsmiths’ College, after which he spent a year at the Tisch School of the Arts in New York.
In the last decade, McQueen’s work has been shown extensively in museums around the world and his work has been acquired by major institutions, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Tate Modern, London; and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. He won the Turner Prize in 1999. He was awarded the OBE, received a commission from Artangel, and participated in Documenta XI in 2002. He has had several major solo exhibitions at the Fondazione Prada and the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and was commissioned by Robert Storr to create two films, Gravesent and Unexploded, for the Italian Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. McQueen was recently selected as the artist to represent Britain at the 2009 Venice Biennale. He will also be one of more than 50 artists featured in the upcoming Walker exhibition The Quick and the Dead, opening April 25.
Schedule of Screenings
Friday, April 10, 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 11, 2 and 7:30 pm
Friday, April 17, 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 18, 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 25, 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 26, 2 pm
Tickets to Hunger are $8 ($6 Walker members) and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600. Screenings take place in the Walker Cinema.