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Steve McQueen (‘Hunger’)

Carl Foreman Award

Hunger,” which deals with the final weeks in the life of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands, is a harrowing yet beautiful piece of work. Enda Walsh helped McQueen to craft the screenplay, which is structured as an audacious triptych. The first third concentrates on supporting characters before the focus sharpens upon Sands, in a 17-minute dialogue with a priest, shot with a static camera in a single take. The final third reverts to near silence as we watch Sands’ agonizing starvation and death. Some critics have balked at McQueen’s decision to follow Sands so remorselessly into the dead end of his suicide. Yet the director’s control of this unfamiliar medium is exceptional, his imagery is profound, and the film unarguably announces the arrival of a mature artistic talent into British cinema.

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