Dir: Cristian Mungiu, Rom, 2016, 128 mins, Romanian dialogue with subtitles
Adrian Titieni, Maria-Victoria Dragus, Rares Andrici
Realistic drama about a father who goes to extreme lengths to ensure his daughter’s academic success after she is assaulted in an attack that could jeopardise her entire future. A compelling portrayal of parental responsibility and the lingering remnants of the old Ceausescu regime.
Dir: Argyris Papadimitropoulos, Gr, 2016, 104 mins, Greek dialogue with subtitles
Makis Papadimitriou, Eli Tringou, Dimi Hart
On a hedonistic Greek Island, a middle-aged doctor becomes obsessed with Anna, a young tourist, when she lets him tag along with her group of hard partying friends. What starts as a rediscovery with his lost-long youth, though, slowly turns into an obsession as he is willing to do whatever it takes to keep his Anna. A film that celebrates the beauty and strength of the youthful body, while simultaneously embracing its inevitable decay.
Dir: Lone Scherfig, UK, 2016, 117 mins
Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy
During WW11, a group of British filmmakers are tasked with making a propaganda film that both inspires the home audience and encourages greater American involvement. Full of delightful comic absurdities, it also highlights how the war provided so many opportunities for women to smash the barriers of sexism and start building a brave new world.
Dir: John Jencks, UK, 2016, 89 mins
Roger Allam, Russell Tovey, Matthew Modine
When disgraced theatre-critic and poet, Ted Wallace, is fired from his job, he is asked to investigate the mystery of so-called miracle healings at Swafford Hall, where he is godfather to youngest child, David. His natural cynicism makes him the ideal candidate to get to the bottom of what’s going on, as well as some good whisky bottles, in this hilarious tale based on Stephen Fry’s seminal novel.
Dir: Roger Donaldson, NZ, 2016, 89 mins
Documentary telling the story of Bruce McLaren, whose pioneering spirit and endless passion changed the world of motorsport forever despite all the odds. A compelling ode to never giving up on a dream.
Dir: Niki Caro, US, 2017, 127 mins
Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh, Daniel Brühl
Based on the true story of Antonina and Jon Zabinski, who saved hundreds of Jews during WWII by hiding them in their zoo in Warsaw. A gripping drama driven by an enchanting performance from Chastain.
Dir: Zeva Oelbaum & Sabine Krayenbüehl, UK/US, 2016, 93 mins
A riveting portrait of Gertrude Bell: explorer, archaeologist and spy who played an important role in the creation of the modern Middle East. Narrated by Tilda Swinton using Bell’s own words, the film chronicles her journey into both the uncharted Arabian desert and the all male core of British colonial power.
Dir: David Lynch, UK, 1980, 118 mins
Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft
The late, great John Hurt stars as Joseph Merrick, a man who suffered a disfiguring congenital disease in 19th century London. After years spent as a side-show freak he is rescued by a kind doctor who helps him trying to regain his dignity.
Dir: Nick Hamm, UK, 2017, 95 mins
Colm Meaney, John Hurt, Timothy Spall
A surprisingly charming drama about the unlikely friendship between Martin McGuinness from Sinn Fein and Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley, set against the backdrop of the negotiations for the 2006 peace agreement in Northern Ireland.
Dir: William Oldroyd, UK, 2017, 89 mins
Florence Pugh, Christopher Fairbank, Cosmo Jarvis
A riveting 19th Century costume drama set in Yorkshire, where a young woman trapped in a loveless marriage struggles against suffocating societal norms. Adapted from Nikolai Leskov’s 1865 novel Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, this is an impressive directorial debut.
Dir: David Blair, UK, 2016, 105 mins
Juno Temple, Timothy Spall, Matt Ryan
A young prostitute on the run from her abusive boyfriend escapes to the seaside town of Blackpool where she forms an unlikely friendship with a middle aged widower. A heartfelt and emotional drama about the search for hope and regrowth.
Dir: Katell Quillévéré, Fr, 2016, 104 mins, French dialogue with subtitles
Tahar Rahim, Emmanuelle Seigner, Anne Dorval
A young surfer who is left brain dead after a car crash and a middle aged mother waiting for a heart transplant become inextricably connected. An engaging and unsentimental drama detailing the transplant process from various perspectives.
Dir: Alan G. Parker, UK, 2017, 118 mins
Pete Best, Freda Kelly, Simon Napier-Bell
On 1st June, 1967 The Beatles released what would become the world’s first concept album, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Featuring interviews with former employees, fellow musicians, family members and journalists, and supported by a vast array of original and exclusive never-seen-before footage, this star-studded rockumentary offers a fascinating insight into the creation and recording of one of the most ground-breaking and influential albums in pop history.
Dir: Sean Foley, UK, 2016, 89 mins
Julian Barratt, Essie Davis, Andrea Riseborough
A retired actor, best known for playing the title character in the ’80s TV hit Mindhorn, is offered a new lease of life when a deluded murder suspect says he will only negotiate with the fictional detective. A rowdy spoof crime-comedy with an all-star cast. Bergerac was never like this !
Dir: Behnam Behzadi, Iran, 2016, 83 mins, Farsi dialogue with subtitles
Alireza Aghakhani, Sahar Dolatshahi, Roya Javidnia
Compelling drama following a single woman caring for her elderly mother who is ordered to move to the countryside due to Teheran's air pollution. Torn between family loyalty and living her own life she decides to take charge and fight for her rights.
Dir: John Madden, US, 2016, 132 mins
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong
Jessica Chastain shines in this razor-sharp, intelligent thriller as an ambitious political lobbyist risking her reputation and career by supporting a new gun law that features regulatory checks on the purchase of firearms.
Samuele Caruana, Pietro Bartolo, Mattias Cucina
Screening as part of Refugee Week, this powerful documentary observes the chaos and despair of the ongoing migrant crisis. Set on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, the film follows the settled life of a 12-year old boy contrasted with the terrible reality of the rescue of migrants who desperately seek a place of greater safety. Introduced by Suffolk Refugee Support
Dir: Michael Dudok de Wit, Fr/Belg/Jap, 2016, 81 mins
This haunting animation is the first international co-production for Studio Ghibli. A man shipwrecked on a deserted island tries to get back to civilisation but is thwarted by a giant red turtle which repeatedly destroys his flimsy craft. Absolutely magical.
Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda, Jap, 2016, 118 mins, Japanese dialogue with subtitles
Hiroshi Abe, Yôko Maki, Satomi Kobayashi
A self-indulgent private detective tries to reconnect with his mother and son following the death of his father. A touching slow-paced drama depicting the complexities of family life.
Dir: François Ozon, Fr, 2016, 114 mins, French dialogue with subtitles
Pierre Niney, Paula Beer, Ernst Stötzner
In the aftermath of the Great War a young woman mourning the death of her fiancé encounters a mysterious man who claims to be an old friend of the deceased. An absorbing drama that explores the intensely emotional period following great national tragedies.
The story of Afrobeat pioneer, multi-instrumentalist and human rights activist Fela Kuti is told in the joyous, moving Finding Fela! by Oscar-winning documentary maker Alex Gibney (ENRON: The Smartest Guys in the Room, We Steal Secrets).
Born in Nigeria in 1938, Kuti rose to fame in the 1970s by creating Afrobeat, which fused jazz, funk, high-life, psychedelic rock, and traditional West African chants; a polyrhythmic sound that became the backdrop to Africa’s postcolonial activism and quest for freedom. He founded a commune and recording studio for his extended musical family named the Kalakuta Republic; but while his music gained international renown, its lyrics – promoting revolutionary ideals, modernity and openness – enraged Nigeria’s ruthless military regime; and with each successive album their attacks on the Republic and specifically on Kuti himself became ever more extreme.
Eleven years after Kuti’s death, Gibney records the rehearsals and performances of a Broadway musical, 2011’s Fela!, which magnetised new audiences to Kuti’s work; and sets the musical against his own non- fiction exploration of a truly extraordinary man – offering us new insights into a complex, provocative and undeniably brilliant performer. ney,
Ipswich Jazz Festival @ IFT
Dir: Andrew L. Stone, US, 1943, 77 mins
Bill Robinson, Lena Horne, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller
Dancing great Bill Williamson sees his face on the cover of Theatre World magazine and reminisces: just back from World War I, he meets lovely singer Selina Rogers at a soldiers' ball and promises to come back to her when he "gets to be somebody." Years go by, and Bill and Selina's rising careers intersect only briefly, since Selina is unwilling to "settle down." Will she ever change her mind? A musical like no other, Stormy Weather celebrates the African-american stars of the day in all-star extravaganza of music and song.
Dir: Cate Shortland, Aust, 2016, 116 mins
Teresa Palmer, Max Riemelt, Lucie Aron
A holiday romance turns sour when a woman wakes up to find herself locked in a Berlin apartment.
Dir: Bruno Dumont, Fr/Ger/Belg, 2016, 122 mins, French dialogue with subtitles
Fabrice Luchini, Juliette Binoche, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi
A mesmerising slapstick comedy set in a small seaside town in France where a wealthy family on their annual holiday have their leisure disrupted by two police inspectors investigating the disappearance of several tourists.
Dir: Nacho Vigalondo, US, 2016, 109 mins
Dan Stevens, Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis
A wonderful amalgam of black comedy & monster movie about a thousand-foot lizard in South Korea that destroys anything it touches.