Irish cinema, northern Ireland, Troubles, film, Hunger (Steve McQueen, 2008),
The Northern Ireland Troubles have featured in film since the late 1940s. While a variety of films have depicted combatants – in most cases from the republican side – a recurring trope in such representations has been the often irrationally violent paramilitary with whom dialogue or negotiation seems impossible. Popular film has also tended to employ conventional genres, in particular the melodrama and thriller, in depictions of the Troubles with often limited results. This paper considers some relevant films in this respect and argues that Hunger (2008) represented an important change in its foregrounding of dialogue and its focus on the ekphrastic potential of cinema.