Monday, May 9, 2011

Hunger Movie Doesn't Satisfy Mine

I usually like cinematic trips to Ireland but not this time. The film Hunger focuses on the gap between Irish Republican prisoners (who view themselves as patriots) and the British government (which considers them murderers). The movie succeeds in being grotesque more than meaningful. We're shown that these men were subjected to harsh conditions but none worse than the abuse they heaped upon themselves in an odd attempt at resistance or martyrdom.

The revelation that they were roughly forced to submit to baths and hair cuts may horrify Cannes Film Festival judges, who are still traumatized over George Bush pouring water down uncooperatives' noses. However, as a world traveler, I long ago hardened my heart to the screams of dirty, stubborn toddlers being waterboarded in metal tubs by their tired, fascist mothers. I just can't muster shock and awe over these allegations. Still, being half-Irish myself, I do find denying prisoners whisky a cruel and unusual punishment - like this film.

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