A deserving, timely winner of this year’s Berlinale Golden Bear, Gianfranco Rosi’s potent documentary explores the human national no-man’s land of Lampedusa, the island that represents the border of Europe. A through point for thousands of refugees and migrants over the past two decades, it’s the home of Samuele, a 12-year old kid living a normal life of school, hunting, and his slingshot. But there will always be the spectre of the sea, and the path it represents for people fleeing their homelands for the promise of a new life. A humane portrait of a crisis laid bare.
Dir: Daniel Mulloy
UK, USA, Kosovo | 2016 | 20 min
+ LA BESTIA
Dir: Gisela Carbajal Rodríguez & Konstantin Steinbichler
Mexico, Germany | 2014 | 30 min
An evocation of borders and identity, Flag Without a Country sees hobbling pilot Nariman looking for recruits for his flying school. Pop star Helly Luv, meanwhile, is stockpiling Kalashnikovs and Kurdish flags for her upcoming music video, and befriending refugee children near the Syrian border. Combining fact and fiction, Bahman Ghobadi has real people play versions of themselves, in this playful, soulful, and somehow hopeful ode to the resilience and culture of the Kurdish people.
A mesmerising cinematic experience, Dead Slow Ahead is documentary reimagined as horror science-fiction. Tracking the journey (or aimless drift?) of a freighter, its rhythms of work, machinery and the ocean are part commentary on post-industrial capitalism swallowing its workforce, part grotesque-romantic portraiture, part contemplation on what the end of the world might look like, with the last mechanical vestige of man following commands without purpose, and clanking along to nowhere. Hypnotic, extraordinary, terrifying.
Perhaps the original democratic, barrier-breaking format in modern music, the cassette tape still refuses to die. Exploring the role of this revolutionary invention in the proliferation of pop culture, Cassette features musical luminaries such as Henry Rollins, Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) and Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi), who appear alongside a legion of young bands still releasing music on tape, and the man who unleashed a new music sharing culture on the world, paving the way to the likes of MySpace and Spotify.
Followed by a Q&A with director Zack Taylor, editor and producer Georg Petzold, Lou Ottens, inventor of the compact cassette, and very special guests.Tickets available from the Genesis website here.
One of the greatest scandals ever to envelop the literary world, the unmasking of “it boy” author Jeremiah ‘Terminator’ Leroy by New York magazine in 2005 is the type of stranger than fiction story tailor-made for the movies. Hailed as a literary sensation for his tough prose and having overcome an abusive, drug addled childhood, LeRoy was revealed not to be the transgender child of a truck stop prostitute, but the invention of 40-year-old San Francisco phone-sex operator Laura Albert. And having drawn the devotion of the likes of Tom Waits, Gus Van Sant, Madonna and Winona Ryder, many of whom appear in the film on tape, there would be hell to pay when the truth came out. A fantastic account of the tallest of tales.
Tickets available from the Picturehouses website here.
From a precarious past to an uncertain future. A River explores the River Afan’s polluted past and its miraculous recovery, while also focusing on the current battle of locals and environmentalists against fracking in the area. Narrated by actor Michael Sheen and featuring a soundtrack by Massive Attack musicians Robert Del Naj and Euan Dickinson, this is a paean to community, local democracy and the natural world.
Followed by a Q&A with Amelia Womack (Deputy leader of the Green Party,Leader of the Welsh Green Party) and director Anthony Tombling Jr, hosted by Emma Howard (Environment correspondent, The Guardian).Tickets available from the Genesis website here.