In 2008, director, , and team up to create a riveting and powerful historical drama, Hunger. The plot of the movie surrounds the IRA volunteer, Bobby Sands, as he leads a hunger strike against the British Parliament to regain a status of “political prisoner” instead of being coined as criminals. Michael Fassbender who was not well known at the time and having only starred in two movies, took the lead role in the film as Bobby Sands and dropped a tremendous amount of weight in order to give life to the dying Bobby Sands at the end of his life. The film received widespread positive acclaim and cemented McQueen’s status as a respected and independent filmmaker.
Three years later, McQueen and Fassbender yet again team up to film the “unsexy” and controversial topic of sex addiction in, Shame. Fassbender plays the role of Brandon Sullivan, who contains a serious sex addiction and has little to no love or respect for himself. McQueen states in an interview (addressing critic’s responses towards the film), “What people seem to fail to understand is, this is about an addiction. If I made something about alcohol addiction or drug addiction, there would be a slightly more sympathetic response to this character.” The film goes on to receive immediate widespread acclaim on Fassbender’s role and McQueen’s ferociousness to film such a controversial and uncomfortable topic in America.
McQueen recently completed his project, 12 Years A Slave, and will be hitting theatres on October 18, 2013. A film revolving around the very real Solomon Northup, a free African American during the age of slavery in America, Northup is captured by slave traders and put to slavery on a plantation run by Edwin Epps, also played by Fassbender. The film has garnered attention in the industry and has been tipped for Oscar nominations for Fassbender’s role as the plantation owner, according to Irish Central. McQueen has set to imagine and explore the topics so few have argued over, and bring them to life so that people may contain a better understanding of the world they live in. McQueen has only created three large scale films worldwide, but has already set the established order of what films were meant to do: challenge. Giving a voice to shunned ideas of our culture and exploring their regions so that the film may be able to construe the image to the people. McQueen’s fame as an independent and forceful director has not only garnered attention to his talent and performance as a respected director, but also to the topics of change and transformation and addictions. Without such films as these to shake the obstinate minds of the world, film would be banal entertainment to only numb and please an audience so desperately needing a sense of belief.