Film

Menashe

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Deep in the heart of New York’s ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jewish community, we follow Menashe — a bumbling, gentle giant of a man who, after the death of his wife, is struggling to keep custody of his 11 year old son Rieven.

Mudbound

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Mudbound is a film about war, racism, brutality and change. It is also a film about family, love and work. With great performances from the cast which includes Carey Mulligan and Mary J Blige, the film beautifully weaves between World War Two and the post-war period in the US South.

Detroit

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The 1967 Detroit rebellion erupted in the thick of the Civil Rights Movement as a result of police racism, poor housing and lack of decent jobs. Director Kathryn Bigelow says she was inspired to tell the story after the 2014 Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri.

The film is a hard-edged action-thriller, packed with expensive looking set pieces. It is another example of Hollywood’s continuing preoccupation with race and resistance.

God's Own Country

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This debut from Francis Lee is a love story between Romanian farmhand Gheorghe and farm owner’s son Johnny. It is filmed on location in Keighley, south of the Yorkshire Dales.

There is certainly nothing subtle about this film. From the opening shot Lee sets out to describe in an uncompromising way some of the poverty, hardships and brutality of farm life. Lee almost starves his characters of dialogue. The method highlights well the little world of repression in the family (Nan, Dad and son) as they battle the father’s illness and try to make the farm work.

Alone in Berlin

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Otto Quangel is the foreman in a coffin factory. A mechanic, he is a small cog in the apparatus of death that was the Third Reich. Quangel and his wife Anna get notification of the loss of their son at the front. Their feelings of disengagement with the regime harden into opposition. They embark on a low-level campaign of resistance, writing postcards with anti-Nazi messages and leaving them secretly in the stairwells of Berlin businesses and apartments.

My Life as a Courgette

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This lovingly made stop-motion animation tackles difficult realities in a straightforward way that can speak to adults and children alike. The brightly coloured models with huge heads and even huger eyes convey a remarkable range of emotion.

Dealing with trauma is not new in animations aimed at a family audience, but rarely is it done entirely without irony or metaphor or cute animals.

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