Wednesday 16th December 2009


Director: Steve McQueen
Year: 2008
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham

The only things I knew about this movie before watching it were that there was a very long one-shot scene between a prisoner and a priest, it was made by an artist and it had something to do with Northern Ireland and the IRA.

That, in fact, sums the film up quite well. The story focuses on the prisons that IRA terrorists in Northern Ireland were sent to in the 1980s. It really feels as if there are two halves to this film. The first half shows the awful, grim conditions of these prisons whilst the second half focuses on Bobby Sands, an IRA member who (along with others) went on a hunger strike.

You really can tell that this film was made by an artist. The shots of everything are beautiful and feature detail you probably could never even imagine. The 17 minute one-shot is also incredibly well done, somehow managing to keep you totally engaged. The problem, however, lies in the narrative. There's no background to the story, so unless you know a fair bit about the history of Northern Ireland and the IRA you'll probably be totally lost. I knew enough for this to make sense, but still craved a little more explanation.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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About Me

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.