Bobby Sands was only 27 years old when he died after 66 days on hunger strike in the Maze Prison where he was serving a sentence for possession of firearms. He was the leader of the 1981 hunger strike in which Irish Republican prisoners sought to gain special category status. Sands was elected as a member of the British Parliament during his time in prison. His death resulted in an upsurge of support and interest in the Provisional Irish Republican Army.
|Fassbinder as Bobby Sands.|
Steve McQueen’s directorial debut film Hunger (2008) dramatises the events in the Maze 6 weeks prior to Sands death. Michael Fassbender gives a compelling performance in the lead role in what is a very gruelling and bleak movie. The film is notable for an unbroken seventeen minute scene where a priest, played by Liam Cunningham, tries to talk Sands out of his protest with the camera remaining in a static position for the duration of the scene. It is thought that this is one of the longest single scenes of its type in a mainstream film. Hunger was voted the best film of 2008 by the Sight and Sound Magazine.