Gary Mitchell, described by the News Letter as a “local Protestant playwright”, has complained about the attention the award-winning film ‘Hunger’ has received. The film has recently been nominated in several categories for this year’s Irish Film and Television Awards.
Mitchell complained that films such as ‘Hunger’ are stopping cinema-goers from seeing “the other side of the story”, though what he means by that is unclear given that the majority of film makers have themselves chosen to avoid the ‘loyalist’ story through a basic lack of sympathy for that cause. [See Why are all the Troubles’ films about republicans? ]
Mitchell said: “If you approach people about movies set in the Protestant community in the 70s, 80s, 90s, you’re told you’re just dragging up badness and you’re harping back to the bad old days. But when a film like Hunger comes out it’s nominated for awards everywhere. If it’s not harping back to the Troubles, or is going to start trouble, what is?”
Belfast-born actor Stuart Graham, who with little or no dialogue manages to portray the complexity/dilemma of a troubled H-Block prison officer, Ray Lohan, has been nominated as Best Actor in a Supporting Role. His co-stars Liam Cunningham and Michael Fassbender, who plays Bobby Sands, are also up for acting awards. The film is nominated in the script, original score, production design and sound categories.