Hunger: Feature-length docudrama following Irish political prisoner Bobby Sands as he goes first on dirty protest, then on an ultimately fatal hunger strike. A difficult subject, made compelling and eerie by director Steve McQueen (the Turner prize winner, not the other one); it's an almost wordless story, so when you finally do get a long conversation, it grips you completely. The film plays subtly on the idea of hunger, not just for food but as desire in general, showing the lengths the prisoners will go to not just for political recognition, but also for letters and smuggled-in crystal radios. The prison sequences are, of course, brutal, but you come out of it all full of admiration for the people who withstood it.
Movie count for 2009: 110