Rated NR · 92 minutes · 2009

Drama, Historical
Experimental filmmaker Steve McQueen brings his museum-bred style to a feature-length narrative with stunning results. Focusing on protests by Irish Republican Army prisoners, the film employs long stretches of silence, perfectly composed shots and lots of still camera to create scenes that are simultaneously brutal, depressing and beautiful. While there are many legitimate ways to tell a story like this, by eschewing exposition and standard narrative, McQueen captures the degradation and malaise of the prison far better than a straightforward approach ever could. Of course, this is only possible because of his astute visual sensibility; each shot is composed like a Renaissance painting, with the stationary camera allowing tiny bits of action to become thematically overwhelming. This is definitely worth seeing for anyone who wants to know what else film can do, and to see it done to near perfection.

See our full review: The Institutional Divide

The Institutional Divide

This film about an Irish prisoner's hunger strike is amazing, fully realized art »

Director: Steve McQueen
Writer: Steve McQueen and Enda Walsh
Producer: Iain Canning, Peter Carlton, Edmund Coulthard and Linda James
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham, Stuart Graham, Brian Milligan, Liam McMahon, Helena Bereen, Laine Megaw and Lalor Roddy




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What others are saying (3)

Chicago Reader Love, loneliness, and rim jobs Steve McQueen's Shame: love, loneliness, and rim jobs by Ben Sachs 12/01/2011
Chicago Reader The Steve McQueen who didn’t make Bullitt The Art Institute opens “Steve McQueen,” showing work by the British video artist by Sam Worley 11/05/2012
Portland Mercury Where's the Mac 'n' Cheese? Steve McQueen's Hunger is good, but hard to stomach. by Courtney Ferguson 04/16/2009

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