Recently we saw Bronson at the movies. Its a dark comedy about Charles Bronson. He went to prison for stealing £26.18p in 1974 and he is still in jail now because he kept beating people up and taking hostages. He is undoubtedly a very bad person but he does have a fantastic moustache.

In the film he is played by Tom Hardy and narrates his own life story. The film is told through Bronson's own warped and violent perspective and includes surrealist sets, a Monty Python style animation, weird characters and people getting beaten up to classical music or electro-pop. It feels a bit like a cross between Chopper and A Clockwork Orange. The film doesn't seem to want to make you sympathize with Bronson or offer any suggestion as to what motivates him to be so violent other than he wants to be notorious.

According to Wikipedia, during one of his hostage taking incidents he demanded "a plane to take him to Cuba, two Uzi sub-machine guns, 5,000 rounds of ammunition, an axe and a cheese and pickle sandwich".

Going to prison, or even working in one, seems to me decidedly risky with characters like that around.

The other prison film we watched recently was Hunger. This was darker, more serious, and in my mind a bit lacking. The film is about members of the IRA who protested against being considered normal criminals because they wanted to be considered as prisoners of war, or at least as political prisoners.

After smearing excrement on the walls of their cells and refusing to wear clothes, one of them Bobby Sands, begins a hungerstrike. There is a really long scene where the camera doesn't move and Bobby and a priest have an argument about his reasons for going on hungerstrike. The gist of this is that the priest thinks it is suicide (which is frowned upon by the Catholic church) and Bobby thinks it is murder (by Maggie Thatcher). Either way the rest of the film has no dialogue we just watch him shrink and die.

I don't understand what the sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, and Glasgow to some extent, is all about really and this film didn't clear much up. To be honest if, like me, you knew nothing about the 1981 hungerstrike, after the film you wouldn't know much more. You'd be better off just taking 5 minutes out of you day to read this article.

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