31/01/2019 19:45 at Health and Wellbeing Centre.
This beautiful animation follows the story, set in Afghanistan in 2001, of 11 year old Parvana and her family. The Taliban rule. Her father, a teacher, passes on to Parvana his love of storytelling, while the family endure the difficulties of everyday life. One day the Taliban break into their home and Father is taken away to prison. Parvana, disguised as a boy, takes over the essential tasks which women are prohibited from doing. Thus life goes on and she becomes the storyteller, helping her siblings to cope with their predicament with stories of the Evil Elephant King. However, the gathering storm of war approaches.
“It’s somehow inspiring to immerse oneself in this pared-down adaptation of Deborah Ellis’ well-regarded young-adult novel, about an 11 year old girl who must step up and care for her family after the Taliban raids her home and arrests her father.” (Peter Debruge, variety.com)
Dir: Nora Twomey 94mins Ire/Can/Lux 2017
7/02/2019 19:45 at Health and Wellbeing Centre.
A joy to the eye, this beautifully restored film is pure romance, telling the story of how the Taj Mahal came to be built. Shiraz is a lowly but talented potter in love with his adopted sister, Selima, who is sold to the palace as a slave. Her beauty is spotted by Prince Khurran who makes his intentions clear. Shiraz is always gripping, at times with edge- of-seat tension. This, together with its musical soundtrack, ensures no allowance is needed for it being a so-called ‘silent’ film – it simply isn’t!
“Multilayered, pulsing with energy, weaving a selection of Indian and European instruments together […], Shankar’s score invigorated the film.” (Pamela Hutchinson, silentlondon.co.uk)
Dir: Franz Osten 106mins Ind/Ger/UK 2016
14/02/2019 at Health and Wellbeing Centre.
Potter, who began as a director in the theatre, sets The Party in the confined space of a London town house. It is given by Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) to celebrate her appointment as a shadow minister, with her husband Bill (Timothy Spall), her friend April (Patricia Clarkson), and the latter’s husband (Bruno Ganz) in attendance. The film, pacy and with deft camera movement, is not at all stagy. Rather the setting concentrates the impact of the acerbic dialogue and the action, of which there is plenty. Some would label the characters ‘the metropolitan élite’. Be that as it may, Potter skewers them.
“[…] a brisk, coruscatingly witty farce […], this is a comedy that bites because it is utterly and urgently of our moment” (So Mayer, Sight and Sound, bfi.org.uk)
Dir: Sally Potter 70mins UK 2017
The 2017 Encounters Shorts Package—Philomela’s Chorus
Four short films from four young black British female directors commissioned to address the under-representation of women in moving image production. With a total run time of 40 minutes the films use video art, performance and experimental narratives to explore ideas of the hidden censored voice.
The Words I do Not Have Yet Phoebe Boswell / UK / 11mins;
Amine Beverley Bennett / UK / 12mins;
Mel’s Lament Nicola Thomas / UK / 8mins;
Something Said Jay Bernard / UK / 8mins