Director: Rungano Nyoni, UK/France/Germany/Zambia, subtitles
Shula is eight and, after an incident in her Zambian village, she is accused of witchcraft. She is exiled to a witches’ camp and faces exploitation. This is a sad story with shades of Miller’s ‘The Crucible’, yet Shula’s fortitude, laced with an irreverent humour, makes it an ultimately uplifting film.
Director: Francois Ozon, France, subtitles
Set mainly in a small town in Germany in 1919. Anna, who is grieving for her fiancé Frantz, meets a mysterious young Frenchman at Frantz’s grave. Gradually we learn about the connection between these young men. Filmed in atmospheric black and white, the occasional use of colour emphasises highly emotional episodes.
Director: Lasse Hallstrom, Sweden, subtitles
Set in Sweden in the late 1950’s, this funny and touching story focuses on young Ingemar. His life is disrupted when his mother becomes dangerously ill. The boy is sent away for the summer with unexpected consequences. This film features a remarkable performance from 10 year old Anton Glanzelius in the lead role.
Director: Martin Zandvliet, Denmark, subtitles
World War 2 is over, but thousands of German mines remain buried along the Danish coast. A group of young German prisoners of war is trained to defuse and remove the mines under the direction of an overbearing Danish sergeant. This dangerous work has a profound effect on them all.
Director: Asgar Farhadi, Iran, subtitles
A powerful, complex, psychological drama about the effects on a young Tehran couple when the stability of their lives is suddenly disrupted. They are acting in a production of Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’ and Farhadi draws parallels between Miller’s play and what is happening to them.
Director: John Carney, Ireland
A coming of age story set at the beginning of the 1980s in Dublin. A boy starts a band to impress a girl. With 1980s music and complex family relationships as a background, this is funny, charming and thoughtful, with great leads and a good supporting cast.
Director: Hope Dixon Leach, UK
A powerful first feature from this young writer/director about fractured families and blighted farms. On the flood plains of the Somerset Levels an unexpected tragedy forces father and daughter to confront each other after years of estrangement. Terrific performances from David Troughton and Ellie Kendrick.
Director: Deepa Mehta, India/Canada subtitles
This is the first of Deepa Mehta’s ‘Elements Trilogy’. (We previously screened ‘Earth’ and ‘Water’). Two brothers and their wives share a home with their mother in a traditional Hindu household in Delhi. Each of them feels trapped by their unhappy domestic circumstances, and we see how they break cultural taboos to find fulfilment and happiness.
Director: Laszlo Nemes, Hungary, subtitles
Saul is a Hungarian Jew working in a World War 2 Nazi extermination camp. Inside this hellish environment he senses an opportunity to perform an act of redemption. Claustrophobic and harrowing, this film from first-time director Laszlo Nemes delivers an original, powerful and ultimately moving experience.