Film

Amy

Issue section: 
Author: 

This documentary will challenge everything anyone thought they knew about Amy Winehouse.

The tragic death of the English soul and jazz singer at the age of 27 in 2011 ended a talent that had brought us the five Grammy Award winning album Back to Black and powerful songs such as 2008’s “Rehab”.

Director Asif Kapadia, who also made the critically acclaimed documentary Senna, has pieced together some of the best memories of the singer, smashing the disgusting judgements that the mainstream media made about her during her lifetime.

The Salt of the Earth

Issue section: 

Documentary The Salt of the Earth introduces the career of Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado. Born in 1944, he initially trained as an economist and this “equipped him with a…knowledge of…what was driving the world”.

He enthusiastically used a camera his wife Lelia bought and abandoned his career in economics to become a photographer. This was the start of an extraordinary creative partnership between Sebastiao and Lelia as they embarked on a series of photography projects.

Dear White People

Issue section: 

Dear White People comes out at a time when the issue of institutional racism in the US has exploded into the open. A wave of protest has forced the mainstream press to acknowledge that racism hasn’t gone away.

The film — a broad comedy — opens with the breaking news of a race riot erupting at Winchester College. It is an institution where frat houses decide the hierarchy of student politics and black students have their own fraternities.

Freaks: One of us!

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Tod Browning’s Freaks, re-released this month, is a 1932 horror film about sideshow circus freaks that was banned in the UK for 30 years. Yet its treatment of disability is notably refreshing compared to most of what the contemporary mainstream media has to offer.

One of the film’s central themes is the concept of solidarity — rather than let themselves be divided and compete for acceptance by the “normals”, the freaks protect themselves against cruelty by adopting the principle of “an offence to one is an offence to all”.

We Are Many

Issue section: 
Issue: 

We Are Many tells the story of 15 February 2003 when millions marched against war in Iraq on the biggest day of protest in history. It starts with the terror attacks of 11 September 2001 and the decision of Bush within 24 hours to bomb Iraq.

The first half depicts the build up to the Iraq war with the bombing of Afghanistan and the lies told by the UK and US governments to the public and to the UN. There is also the corresponding Stop the War movement which grows in size and confidence.

London Road

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The murder of five prostitutes in Ipswich does not sound like a promising subject for a film. But following two sell-out runs for the stage production at the National Theatre the film adaptation of London Road reunites the original cast with director Rufus Norris, script by Alecky Blythe and music by Adam Cork.

The Look of Silence

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Adi is watching TV impassively, transfixed, as two ageing men describe in detail how they killed his brother, Ramli, almost 50 years before. They are laughing while they act out the murder in the exact spot where it took place by the Snake River in North Sumatra.

They describe how they repeatedly stabbed him but somehow he managed to escape. They had to drag him back to the river, where they made him crouch down so they could slice off his penis with a machete so that he bled to death. After recounting the story they pose for a photo waving “v for victory” signs.

Samba

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Samba is a comedy drama that traces the relationship between Senegalese illegal immigrant Samba (Omar Sy) and affluent, alienated charity worker Alice (Charlotte Gainsbourg). The film presents a confusing mix of drama and comedy, the drama being the better part of the film. Samba is caught by the authorities after ten years working illegally in France. Alice is assigned by an advisory charity to help Samba through his difficult journey through a detention centre, where his experiences are eye opening.

The Tribe

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The Tribe is an inventive and uncompromising film about a group of teenagers at a residential deaf school in Ukraine. There’s no spoken dialogue, translation or voiceover. The action takes place mainly in the school itself — a bleak and dilapidated institution with peeling walls and starkly lit long corridors. After new arrival Sergey’s initiation into school rituals, he is quickly co-opted into its dominant gang. They use charity goods, donated then sold to finance the school, as a front for robbery.

Girlhood

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Sciamma’s Girlhood (following Tomboy and Water Lilies) is an unforgettable piece of cinema, gripping from start to finish. The story gives an honest portrayal of the lives of young, working class, black women growing up in a deprived area of France. The film focuses on the struggle of 16 year old protagonist Marieme (Karidja Touré) after she is refused the opportunity to progress into further education. She lives on an estate in a neighbourhood dominated by men.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Film