Certain short films are important not for their narrative content, but precisely because they try to reject the rigors of a conventional story, while adopting an almost poetic style, focused on sensations and on severe feelings. ‘Hunger‘ is one such example, and even though it tackles a fairly popular theme in world cinema – drug addiction – it still succeeds in capturing the viewers with its atmosphere similar to a contemporary Gothic novel. Mark Dollard plunges with his impressive short film into the troubled mind of a young man overwhelmed by “hunger”, the urgent need to get a dose, in order to catch the spectator in a blend of emotions and visceral psychological states.
Everything takes the form of an agonising journey through desolate landscapes of human degradation in which the director creates a metaphor for addiction, translating the gesture of consuming into a vampiric act. Thus, in this living nightmare, the main character is pursued by the ghoulish incarnation of his own obsession; the motif of the evil double becomes the central element that materializes the character’s struggle with his own demons. Perhaps for some viewers this choice is not necessarily the most original, but regardless of everyone’s prejudices, the way in which the director depicts it is really commendable.